It couldn’t have been a better year for Azimut|Benetti Group, which closed fiscal 2018/19 while celebrating its fiftieth anniversary with value of production standing at €900 million, up about 10% on last year. Furthermore a remarkable 260 units have been delivered, continuing the excellent performance put in last season.
Breaking down total sales, the leading market is the United States, where Azimut Yachts is the top-selling brand in the segment over 40 feet. Taken as a whole, the Americas represent 50% of the total, followed by Europe (29%), the Middle East and Africa (14%), and Asia Pacific with 7%.
This year too, megayachts have played a central role in Group performance, with total sales of 51 units breaking down 35 Azimut Yachts and 16 Benetti.
The megayacht segment has grown faster than the average in the pleasure boat market (+15% vs 10%, according to the latest Deloitte Boating Market Monitor). In what is a consolidated strategy now, the company has successfully exploited this trend to extend and renew its range of products, positioning it where it has been for the last 19 years running, at the top of the Global Order Book, the annual ranking of megayacht builders drawn up by Boat International.
In more detail, at the Cannes Yachting Festival Azimut Yachts launched the new Grande collection flagship S10, which represents an icon of the brand’s 50 years in business and an emblem not only of the line’s unconventional character but also of how it embraces experimentation. Making their debut alongside S10 are S8 and 78 Fly, while Verve 47 will be visiting the Miami Boat Show in February 2020, and the new Grande Magellano 25 is planned for launch next spring in the Art Yacht Project version by Vincenzo de Cotiis.
But the brand is already hard at work on the development of its new generation flagships. Due out next season are a 38-meter Trideck, the largest yacht ever built by Azimut Yachts, of which three units have already been sold off-plan, followed by a 30-meter Magellano collection flagship.
Turning to Benetti, the Group’s Fiftieth Anniversary year saw the record-breaking launch of three giga yachts in the space of just 100 days, with the flagship (108 meters) delivered last July and two more awaiting delivery.
Benetti too, which has sold a full 10 yachts in the last 60 days alone, is gearing up to extend its range, adding not only new models but new product families too. The storied and successful Class line will have a new flagship in 2020, the new Diamond 145, as well as being joined by the new Oasis line inspired by a concept based on glamorous luxury. Three units have already been sold of the first 40-meter model in the line, which will be available next year. But the hectic activity surrounding the brand doesn’t stop here: Benetti is in fact ready to get to work on a new collection that pays tribute to the brand’s storied past. After two years of project analysis with the B.Yond project, a line of Smart Travellers that are ideal for long cruises, Benetti rediscovers the appeal and luxury of the 1960s and yachts built from steel, reinventing a product category of timeless yachts that will stay up-to-date for their entire lifetimes. The collection will be made up of three models (30, 37 and 44 meters) with the 37-meter yacht planned for launch in 2021.
In order to implement this ambitious programme, the Group (confirming its tradition of reinvesting most of the profits generated back into the company) expects to invest €115 million over the next three years to develop new products and upgrade production capacity.
The combination of new design and technology solutions is another key element of the company’s success. The technological challenge of the R&D office, which has strived from the outset to improve efficiency with a view to better comfort and sustainability, is at present focused on developing an agreement with one of the major international player of the electronic industry to produce an innovative hybrid system for the Group’s brands.
“This wonderful year has made me both happy and proud, as well as keeping us busy on so many fronts: new collaborations, new products, the Giga Season, our Azimut S6 at Times Square, and so many moments with our customers all around the world, who have testified to their confidence and esteem,” said Giovanna Vitelli, Azimut|Benetti Group Vice President. She continued, “Today more than ever, I am grateful to my father for having imprinted on this company the distinctive features that make it unique in the yacht industry: stability, reliability, quality and continuity. With the collaboration of a competent and capable management team, we are looking forward to a new season, confident that our business model will continue to bring rewards.”