By broadening its range of products, the prestigious luxury yacht builder, Azimut Benetti Group, has increased its market share and consolidated the experience of 43 years of activity. At this year’s Cannes International Boat Show 4 of the 10 new yacht models presented for the new nautical season are on display. Their yachts boast excellence and innovation, along with Italian quality and style.
For the future, a new Integrated Nautical Centre is planned for Marina di Varazze. The economic stability and solidity of its equity, together with the will to explore new technologies through research and design models meeting the needs of different ways of sailing, have been the strong points enabling Azimut Benetti Group to overcome the difficult period in the nautical market with serenity, assuring the market a continuity in production and a solid relationship with its customers.
“What our family business has built up thus far gives us great freedom of action and thinking: that of doing business with passion and in a professional manner without ever having to put limits to creativity in designing and innovating our masterpieces of the sea, which are recognisable around the world”, declared the Group’s President, Paolo Vitelli.
Azimut Benetti is the largest private group of its kind in the world, in a global market that it is estimated has dropped 20%, with the segment of medium-sized boats most affected. It has maintained stable results during this period, with a consequent increase in market share, thanks to a production value of around Euro 600 million.
It has reconfirmed 50% of its turnover on the American continent, with Brazil stable and the United States marking a further increase in turnover. Here, thanks to a strong and well-distributed presence, Azimut Yachts has registered important sales performance. The Atlantis brand too, which first appeared on the US market only a few months ago, is showing a good response for the models offered.
On the other side of the world, the Group continues to regard the emerging markets with interest, exploring new ones, such as Africa, and maintaining its internationality as ambassador of Italian-made quality. The company is one of the finest examples of this, able to control the entire production lines: from design of a boat to its production and to after-sales service.
The Chinese nautical market remains unchanged, in part because of the slowing economy and uncertainty of the property market. Here, the Group, which has a leading position, has maintained the market share acquired and continues to follow developments to make the most of the country’s potential. The two locally-established companies have become operative; one in Shanghai, the other in Hong Kong, with a strengthening of the local structure with Italian and Chinese personnel, the aim being to provide support for sales and after-sales service. The Middle East remains stable, while Europe is beginning to recover.
“The nautical industry is in fifth position as regards Italian exports and remains one of the great opportunities for development on the world markets”, affirms Paolo Vitelli, the Group’s President, “because it is one of the last sectors in which Italy is an absolute leader. Our design and our technology remain at the cutting edge. We know that our Group has a special responsibility in promoting and steering the market; for this, our research explores new areas both as regards materials with low environmental impact and to respond to a new approach to sailing”.
The industrial plan for the next three years foresees investments for a total of Euros 60 million, distributed both in research and development for new models and in structural investments in the various production sites. One of the Group’s characteristics is its ability to self-finance these investments, which also means being able to handle development in an autonomous manner, without being constrained to adopt industrial plans geared to short-term results. Over the next three years, 30 new models are planned, a reflection of the unceasing work of the Research and Development offices.
In particular as regards the Business Line “Yachts”, Azimut Yachts and Atlantis brands are expanding their presence also in market sectors with greatest competition and high innovative content, such as small boats, eco-friendly and sporty ones. Each of these three areas is well-represented by three important new models for the forthcoming season, and on show in Cannes: the Atlantis 34, Magellano 43 and Azimut 55S.
The Business Line “Megayachts”, which comprises the Benetti displacement range and the Azimut Grande series of planing yachts, is the division that has enjoyed the greatest sales success of the past nautical season, helped by a particularly lively market. Fifteen vessels have been delivered and there is a portfolio of orders for future delivery worth Euros 650 million.
Benetti, which will celebrate 140 years of continuous production next year, is presenting the Classic Supreme 132’ superyacht at Cannes, and has received an order for the construction of a 90-metre yacht by a client who has chosen the excellence of this brand for the third time.
A Brazilian client has chosen the motor yacht Azimut Grande 140, a prestigious three-deck planing vessel with an innovative hull assuring the comfort of a displacement yacht with the finest interiors. The craft offers a technological challenge as well as one of quality, design and style. This will be the largest Azimut, made with the expertise of Benetti, ever built.
At the Festival de la Plaisance in Cannes, on top of the 22 models of the Group’s various brands on show, exceptionally there is also the Benetti megayacht “Diamonds Are Forever”, which with its 61 metres, will be the largest yacht ever presented at the Festival de la Plaisance. With a view to constant improvement and expansion in the services offered its clients, Azimut Benetti Group is planning the realisation of an Integrated nautical centre at Varazze.
The aim is to bring together production, assistance, maintenance, refitting, berthing and leisure marine services on a single site. This new centre for the nautical market is planned for Varazze, where the company is negotiating to buy the areas of the former Baglietto boatyard immediately next to the Marina di Varazze leisure harbour and opposite a large and well-equipped dock within the marina built and operated by the Group.
If the purchase goes ahead, it is planned that a new hangar will be built for the outfitting of crafts, together with large aprons for storing and refitting and, naturally, the creation of berths within an attractive, well-equipped and prestigious marina. The initial overall investment will be in the order of Euros 10 million. This acquisition is part of a long-term project the objective of which is the creation of further nautical centres in strategic points around the world.