Finance

Luxury boat maker casts off 121 workers

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Luxury Gold Coast boat maker Riviera Group has sacked 121 workers, blaming a severe downturn in the global marine industry and poor economic conditions.

Luxury Gold Coast boat maker Riviera Group has sacked 121 workers, blaming a severe downturn in the global marine industry and poor economic conditions.

The sackings come just days after chief executive Wes Moxley resigned suddenly and months after the retrenchment of another 200 staff.

New chief executive John Anderson has been forced to address rumours the company could be close to collapse. He says the company had monitored the business environment over the last eight months and had no choice but to re-adjust the business strategy after the Sydney and Sanctuary Cove boat shows.

“As a significant exporter and a major employer on the Gold Coast, Riviera must make responsible business decisions about its company structure. Reduced demand means we have no easy alternative to this course.”

He says 800 staff remained employed at the company’s Coomera shipyard and Riviera’s new models were generating “great interest and multiple forward orders”.

Riviera, which boasts turnover of around $400 million, accelerated its growth following a private-equity-backed management buyout in 2002. Private equity firm Ironbridge Capital retains a stake in the business.

Anderson is confident Riviera can survive the global boating downturn.

“The company is well positioned to respond to growing market conditions when they occur and will emerge from this current economic downturn an even stronger organisation.”

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