SOUTHAMPTON-based boat racing company Clipper Ventures showed it had suffered from the stormy economic environment post-September 11.

The Shamrock Quay firm, which launched its Clipper 2002 round-the-world yacht race from Liverpool, said it had been hit by a downturn in sponsorship.

Sponsorship for its Clipper 2002 race had been particularly difficult to raise as companies reduced marketing spend in the tough economic climate.

The group added that its corporate activities business, which has a fleet of 38-ft yachts, had also performed badly. Clipper is currently seeking to sell the business and focus instead on its round-the-world races.

The tough conditions meant turnover slid from £2.7m to £2.2m for the year to April 30, although improved efficiencies meant pre-tax losses were cut back to £313,541 from £406,965.

The company said the results would have been stronger had it not been for new accounting procedures.