SUNSEEKER says its business has been turned around and is on course to grow after a 17 per cent rise in revenue.

Chief executive Phil Popham said revenue at the Poole-based luxury boat maker reached £294.7million in 2017, with orders up 52 per cent year-on-year.

As recently as 2014, the company lost £41m and shed 300 jobs.

Since 2015, Sunseeker International’s revenue has risen 50 per cent, the number of boats built is up 30 per cent and staff numbers are up 25 per cent to more than 2,500.

Retained profit, which stood at £29,000 in 2016, reached £1.1m last year.

Mr Popham said: “We turned this business around. We’ve taken it back to profitability, now we intend to grow.”

He said of the revenue rise: “It keeps us as Britain’s biggest boat builder, something we’re proud of, and we intend on keeping that position.”

The Chinese-owned company has launched two new models this year, the Predator 50 and 74.The 74 Sport Yacht will be revealed at this autumn’s boat shows, where other new models will also be announced.

“If you want to be a growing company in this industry, you have to constantly invest in the best product and technology,” said Mr Popham.

The Poole and Portland factories are at capacity, with boats sold out for 2018 and 50 per cent sold for 2019 – a record for the business.

The business now had a neutral cash flow, whereas it had previously been “haemorrhaging cash”, Mr Popham said.

“We expect to be cash positive this year and comfortably profitable this year as well,” he added.

He said the business had taken steps to cope with uncertainties such as Brexit and the possibility of an economic downturn at home.

“Our strategy, as we’ve taken the business back to profitability, is to make sure we do hedge against risk by becoming a truly global brand,” he said.

“Where we’ve depended on the Mediterranean countries in the past, we’ve really focused on the US. A third of our business is in America. Less than 50 per cent is in the Mediterranean. We’ve really focused on the Asia Pacific region.

“The more countries you’re selling in, the more you naturally hedge against that.”