As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, with this particular acquisition, the largest charter company in all of the Republic of Croatia, which is otherwise the largest charter market in the world, is continuing to blossom.
The joint fleet of a total of more than 260 vessels that will be available to sailors next season will continue to be rented under the existing brands that have established themselves on the market, and will be distributed to cover all parts of the Croatian Adriatic, from Istria all the way down to Dubrovnik.
This will be just one of the advantages of this significant transaction, which was carried out in accordance with the strategic goal of continuous growth of the Biograd company Angelina Yacht Charter, Luka Sangulin, the company’s director, explained.
“We’ve been aware for a long time now that only bigger and stronger players can survive in the unstable market of services that depend on a series of circumstances out there on the global market. At the same time, this sector proved to be very tough and resilient even in the circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic, when people were thinking of all possible ways to get on board a boat and have time at sea.
The charter season is also a longer one and attracts guests with higher paying power. By taking over the majority stake in Ultra Sailing, we’ll be even stronger when it comes to resisting the grouping of large global players that are also present here on the Croatian market, such as Sunsail, Dream Yacht and Navigare,” explained Sangulin.
Ultra Sailing is also an authorised dealer for Benetau and Fountaine Pajot boats for the Croatian market, which provides additional strength in a situation that is in shambles as it increases the availability of new boats.
Due to the global situation, there are no new vessels, the crews are under-capacitated, there are no parts, and for many, preparations for the new season is uncertain. Partnership with the world’s leading manufacturers therefore also brings a much more secure supply, and the size of the fleet can facilitate competition in the market.
In addition, as noted by Sangulin, consolidation like this strengthens the negotiating position towards the marinas, which have already announced significant price increases for the next season.
The Biograd company Angelina Yacht Charter currently has seven bases, which are joined by four bases where Ultra Sailing’s vessels are also located. It’s worth noting that much like the Biograd company, Ultra Sailing has been in the nautical business for almost three decades now, and they currently manage a fleet of more than 50 vessels located in the marinas of ACI Split, Pomer, Dubrovnik and Marina Baotic. Angelina now has 185 vessels in 6 marinas, and Sangulin has since announced the acquisition of 20 more vessels for the next season.
“This merger introduces central procurement and reduces the costs and interventions for many other parts of this business. By increasing the number of bases and their arrangement along the Adriatic, we also get greater coverage, and different types of vessels guarantee us a longer season, and we plan to continue such a policy. The goal is to have boats for the holiday segment, which mostly comes during the main summer season, but also for sport events, regattas, the corporate part, segments that do very well in spring and autumn. The plan is additional fleet growth because if we don’t have growth we’ll end up with stagnation and then we’ll just decline.
In the charter sector, this is the rule because the fleet is aging, which increases maintenance costs and lowers the price of the services. Some guests ask you for boats which are three years old at most, not all of them, but there are some people who do seek that,” Sangulin added.
This segment of tourism was the least affected by the global coronavirus pandemic even back in 2020. Last year, the season was also excellent, but it started a little later, so Angelina Yacht will have a 25 to 30 percent increase in income this year. About 70 percent of this increase comes in the form of traffic growth, while the rest will be realised through price increases, mostly on new vessels.
The prices of charter services for the next year are already being formed, and they will go up by 7 to 8 percent on average, which also depends on a number of external factors that enter into pricing. For example, the lack of auxiliary workers led to a drastic increase in cleaning prices this year. As has since been learned from the Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ/CNTB) community, in the current part of the year, the nautical sector enjoyed an impressive 465,500 arrivals and 3.1 million overnight stays.
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