Market overview: France

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A light breeze of optimism is blowing over the French nautical market. After a number of bad seasons the boating professionals want to believe they can feel it. But they remain cautious all the same.“The 2014/15 season is changing the trend” Yves Lyon-Caen confirms. Figures have stopped falling and for the first time in four years the president of the Fédération des Industries Nautique (FIN) detects greater stability – even a rise – in the number of sales of new boats with the latest figures reporting registrations up 1%.The trend is confirmed by the satisfactory results of the autumn boat shows. It has been a difficult period with an overall drop of 30% in registrations of new boats between 2011 and 2014. In 2014/15 the market for boats of under 30ft was relatively good and for 40ft-45ft-plus on the way up. Only the market for intermediate sizes was still sluggish.The second-hand market in France – which represents four out of five boat sales – was firm up 5% in volume involving 65000 boats in 2014/15 against 62000 in 2013/14. These two factors have comforted the equipment sector with some players seeing strong activity in the last quarter of 2015.