High Tide founder Serge Calvez answers BoatIndustry's questions and provides a current portrait of his company. He also commented on the failure of the merger with IDB Marine.
In a few figures, can you present us with High Tide today?
Since the arrival of BFR as a 49% minority shareholder, Marée Haute has been well structured, thanks to a real sharing of skills. It also provides me with moral support as an entrepreneur. There are now 30 people working at Marée Haute Services (Editor's note: the result of the recent acquisition of the Minahouet shipyard, specialized in boat maintenance and wintering, installed on the same site), whereas there were only about fifteen of us in 2017. A full-time engineer was recruited to create an internal design office and also a purchasing person. Turnover rose from ?1.5 million in 2017 to ?3.1 million in 2018, including 700 keuros for services. 8 Django 9.80 and 11 Django 7.70 were delivered. Today, we are profitable and we have purified part of the company's liabilities.
You announced a merger with IDB Marine in September 2018, which did not succeed. How do you analyze this sequence?
I think it's a shame, but I respect Denis' choice (editor's note: Bourbigot, the boss of IDB Marine) and we talk. We had a common future. The only thing that bothers me is that I lost time and put things on hold, which we will have to restart now.
What are the current development objectives?
The first major objective is the development of services, with mechanics, wintering and maintenance. We are also working on expanding the range, in terms of size, but also by separating sport and cruising. Today, we produce Speed Feet 18, Django 6.70, Django 7.70, Django 9.80 and Django 12.70. It is easy to see where the holes are. We were doing Mini 6.50, we don't do it anymore. It's excellent in terms of image, but it's dangerous. Of the 2 projects we did, we didn't make any money.
In 2019 sales, we should do at least as much as in 2018. We aim for 2 to 3 Django 12.70, in addition to boats.
From an investment point of view, the renovation of the premises will continue in stages. An ERP is being implemented at the IT level.
What is the place of High Tide in the race and regatta?
The D85 is being properly launched at the commercial level. This is a sport version of the Django 7.70. The objective is a Transquadra. On the other hand, we are considering creating our race by organizing it or integrating it into a circuit. It is a way of accompanying customers because otherwise many do not participate in the regattas because they do not have the time or laziness!
There is also the BFR Marée Haute en Mini 6.50 team, which communicates with our shareholder BFR while supporting the development of the site.