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AZIMUT|BENETTI #1 IN THE WORLD YACHTING INDUSTRY

ABGroup Always the first2024 EN
13 Dec 2023

THE COMPANY LED BY THE VITELLI FAMILY IS CONFIRMED AS THE WORLD’S LEADING YACHT MANUFACTURER, WITH A 14% SHARE OF THE WORLD MARKET, A 23% INCREASE IN PRODUCTION VALUE AND EBITDA UP BY 50%.

The Azimut|Benetti Group retains its position as the world’s leading manufacturer of yachts over 24 meters, firmly securing its top spot in the Global Order Book edited by Boat International magazine. This book annually collects and analyzes data from 177 shipyards worldwide. The 2024 edition awards the Group first place for both the number of units under construction and the cumulative length of projects: 167 yachts totaling 6014 meters, representing 14% of the world market examined by Boat International.

These figures are corroborated by the Group’s record results for the financial year ending August 31st, 2023. Production value grew by over 23% compared to the previous year, and Ebitda increased by 50%. The Group’s resilience is further demonstrated by the consistent growth in production value, nearly doubling in the last five years—from 700 million to 1.3 billion euros—and the order portfolio extending until 2027. This success is a testament to the market’s preference for the Group’s stylistic and technological solutions, as well as its focus on fuel consumption and environmental impact.

These numbers, supported by excellent capital and financial solidity, enable the company to invest 150 million euros over the next three years. This commitment is accompanied by the Group’s dedication to research and development, specifically focusing on solutions to reduce environmental impact. Today, the Group proudly announces leading results in the boating industry for lowering CO2 emissions. This includes the first-of-its-kind agreement in the sector for the use of HVO biofuel. Encouraged by these results, the Group is actively promoting the development of a public index to measure yacht efficiency, in collaboration with Lloyd’s Register and the Superyacht Eco Association.

 

(Courtesy of Boat International Media Limited)

 

The extraordinary longevity of the Shipyard’s leading position can be traced to the status of private family company of Azimut|Benetti Group, led by the Vitelli family together with two quality minority shareholders – PIF and TIP – who hold a stimulus and control function: since its foundation, the ownership has pursued a coherent, resilient and sustainable business model, which is a long-term strategy focused on customer experience, constant product innovation and care for people. With the recent generational change – President Giovanna Vitelli taking the helm – the Group has undertaken a path of evolution that aims to further develop its managerial culture and governance, respecting the entrepreneurial DNA that continues to spur the success of the Company with rapid decision-making, a calibrated approach to growth and investments, and attention to the wellbeing of workers.

These traits translate into a strategic plan based on three pillars: the evolution of the product in terms of design and sustainability, the development of services through the Lusben and Yachtique brands, and the nourishing of talent.

The product – Beauty, innovation and sustainability

The key contributor to the Group’s first place in the Global Order Book ranking is the success of the models by Azimut and Benetti: cutting-edge concepts that anticipate owners’ desires and industry trends time after time. The creation of new lifestyles on board and the reduction of CO2 emissions and energy consumption are the guiding principles of the Group’s product philosophy, both of which are reflected in the Azimut and Benetti yachts consistently with the values of the two brands.

Azimut explores new frontiers in architecture, positioning itself as the design hub that enriches the yachting world with the creativity of various contributors from different sectors. The most recent collaboration with Matteo Thun, for instance, introduces a new conscious design concept that respects the interconnected relationship between people, yacht, and the environment.

Furthermore, the brand is a pioneer in the development of solutions to reduce emissions integrating high-efficiency hulls, the extensive use of carbon, and innovative propulsion systems. Today, over half of Azimut’s fleet is made up of Low Emission Yachts, which guarantee a reduction in emissions of up to 30%. In the spring of 2024, the Shipyard will present its first hybrid Series and the most efficient ever built: Seadeck.

Benetti reinvents the concept of iconic models through collaborations with internationally renowned architects, such as Bonetti/Kozerski Architecture, notable for their recent Pace Gallery project in New York. These collaborations aim to reinterpret classic design language, incorporating sophisticated influences from the realms of architecture, fashion design, and art. One of the most influential contemporary stylistic innovations introduced by Benetti is the Oasis Deck®, a true revolution in the concept of the beach area. For the first time, it transforms the aft deck into a sea oasis, providing an experience in close contact with nature.

oasis

Currently, the Shipyard offers almost its entire range with hybrid systems. The Benetti B.Yond has been recognized as the greenest model in its category, achieving a significant reduction in CO2 emissions (up to 24%) and NOx emissions (up to 85%). The next objective is to further optimize consumption and emissions generated by onboard systems. This issue is particularly relevant to larger boats, which spend approximately 90% of their time at anchor. Benetti has begun addressing this by developing solutions such as the “Zero-Emission Hotel Mode,” powered by fuel cells and advanced power management systems. These solutions include measures that can reduce air conditioning energy consumption by up to 50%.

The results achieved by Azimut and Benetti demonstrate a commitment to implementing green solutions on a broad scale, not just on one-off prototype models. By combining future-oriented research with the implementation of the best available and effective solutions today, the Group aims for the greatest possible impact in the short, medium, and long terms.

The Group’s activities are guided by its determination to lead the sector towards a more conscious and scientific approach to the topic of environmental sustainability, while promoting greater transparency in communication. With this objective, Azimut, together with Lloyd’s Register, one of the main classification bodies in the maritime sector, conducted a consumption and emissions certification plan in the summer of 2023, which led to the definition of an objective and comparable Carbon Emission Index, which the Superyacht Eco Association used to extend the SEA Index to yachts under 24m, the most widespread category of yachts in our seas and the one involving the greatest number of owners, with the ambition of starting an unprecedented movement.

In 2023, the Group signed the first agreement in the sector with Eni Live for the replacement of all fossil fuels used by the Group for sea trials, tests, and prototype transfers with HVO biodiesel. HVO biodiesel is a biofuel made from renewable raw materials*, allowing a reduction in CO2 emissions by up to 90% compared to the reference fossil mix, depending on the materials used for its production**. According to the agreement signed with Eni Live, the Group will purchase approximately 700,000 liters of HVO starting this year, thereby preventing the release of up to 1,800 tons of CO2 into the environment. This reduction is equivalent to preventing the emissions from about 1,800 flights from Frankfurt to New York.

Finally, all the Group’s offices operate with the aim of reducing the environmental impact from all sources: the production sites will use renewable sources to cover approximately 50% of their energy requirements by 2026 and, with an eye to developing an increasingly circular economy, projects have been initiated to recover fiberglass, wood and other residual material.

The services – Lusben and Yachtique

The strategic plan of the Azimut|Benetti Group envisions the further development of the service hub with the aim of supporting owners throughout their yachting experience. The Group confirms the growing strategic role of Lusben and the refit activity by investing 15 million euros to expand the Lusben shipyard in Livorno. This facility, one of the brand’s three, alongside Varazze and Viareggio, will be equipped to host yachts over 100 meters in length, solidifying its position as one of the three main players in the Mediterranean for superyachts.

Following the same strategic logic, Yachtique, the Group’s internal styling lounge created over twenty years ago to advise and accompany owners from their furnishing choices to the purchase of art and antiques, will also expand its facilities in Tuscany over the next three years.

Finally, the Group’s services division has recently been enriched with the first nautical “Airbnb” proposal, which allows Azimut owners to offer their yacht for charter anywhere in the world on a digital platform developed by Azimut. Local dealers will handle the management of the boats, as well as check-in and check-out.

A school of talents

The leadership role that the Azimut|Benetti Group holds in the sector is closely connected to its commitment to supporting its 2,400 direct employees—a growth of +24% in the last 3 years—in their professional growth and training for roles in demand in the nautical sector. This commitment fosters employment in an industry that symbolizes Italian production and manufacturing excellence.

To address these goals, the Shipyard established the Azimut|Benetti Group Corporate Academy, becoming the first in the nautical sector to approach training with a transversal and integrated model. This model includes the Shipyard Academy—providing 144,000 hours of training per year—the Executive Academy, and Edu & Career Guidance projects in collaboration with universities, high schools, and technical institutes. The internal nautical module, involving employees in a cruising experience on the Group’s yachts, brings the Group’s mission to life by making people experience, know and love the product: to build the most beautiful, reliable, technological and innovative yacht and assist it always and everywhere.

* Pursuant to the Directive UE 2018/2001 “REDII”.

** According to the conventional criterion of Directive (EU) 2018/2001 “REDII”, the reduction in CO2eq emissions of the HVOlution along the logistics-production chain in 2022 was between 60% and 90%, compared to the mix reference fossil (i.e. 94g CO2eq/MJ), depending on the raw materials used for its production.

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