April 30, 2008

Monthly News - April 2008

- pic of the month - Jeanneau 34 Prestige number 500 delivered

Astondoa Group Acquires Faeton

Spanish superyacht builder the Astondoa Group has bought Spanish sportscruiser brand Faeton Yachts. With the acquisition of Faeton, the Astondoa Group now comprises 200,000m sq of production space and six distribution centres throughout Spain: Santa Pola, Alicante; Gallarta, Vizcaya; La Unión, Murcia; Vigo, Pontevedra; Almansa, Albacete; and Gádor, Almería. Astondoa's yard produces luxury yachts up to 60m (197ft). Faeton's sportscruisers and sportsfishers range from 8m-12m (26ft-39ft). The two brands have produced more than 6,000 vessels between them.

Azimut Sets Up China Subsidiary

Azimut Yachts announced at the Shanghai International Boat Show that it intends to establish a subsidiary in China called Azimut China. The company has had a presence in China for the last year through a representative office in Shanghai. It also has four dealers in the country. Azimut said in a statement that this will be its second factory office outside of Italy. The company has sold four yachts to Chinese clients in the last year, including a 98 Leonardo that will be delivered a few days before the Olympic sailing competitions. The company said that over 50 marinas are in the development or planning stage in the country. Azimut Yachts foresees a sales volume for 2012 of around 50 yachts per year and is seeing an orientation of its clients toward models in the high end of the range.

Azimut Five Year Plan, Double Turnover and Launch 25 Models

Azimut Yachts said in a statement that it has launched a five-year plan to double its turnover while simultaneously launching 25 new models. The Italian yacht builder said that total investments will amount to €150 million, including a €70 million investment to increase its production capacity. The company said that it will open a new facility in Arbatax Sardinia, and another new plant in Viareggio will soon be operational. A third plant in Savona is already operational. Azimut also announced a partnership with the Karsan Group in Turkey. Karsan will collaborate on the production of boats in the under-50ft range.

Beneteau Reveals Strong First Half

French boatbuilder Groupe Bénéteau has revealed that its first-half sales grew by 18.6 per cent over the same time last year to €447.5 million, with both of the group's core businesses, boats and mobile homes contributing to the growth. In the six months ended February 29, 2008, sales of boats climbed by 11.5 per cent (or 12.6 per cent on a constant exchange rate basis) to €323.7 million, which was higher than the expected growth of 7.3 per cent for the year. Bénéteau's mobile home business generated €93.4 million in first-half sales, resulting in a 73.1 per cent increase over the same period last year. Like-for-like, growth comes out at 10.8 per cent.

Dalla Pieta Yachts and Marangoni Institute

Giorgio Dalla Pietà, managing director and creative leader of Dalla Pietà Yachts, briefed students attending the Interior Design Master at Istituto Marangoni in Milan with the goal of spurring a number of design and outfitting suggestions for the interiors of the fleet's flagship, the DP 80'. The objective of the initiative is to integrate the business and education at Marangoni, a school which is already highly committed to establishing ties between the two worlds. Marangoni is characterised by a very international outlook. Teachers are all professional working every day in the fields and sectors they teach. Giorgio Dalla Pietà found himself particularly at ease as narrator. He started by illustrating the main steps in building a vessel and various issues related to sailing, to living onboard and to the spaces which must be devoted to structural elements of the yacht. He then focused on interior design and with the aid of deck layouts carried his listeners into an entirely new dimension of design. Each student was dealing with entirely new problems and unexplored spaces and today, they can measure themselves with an empty space to be imagined, rationalised and furnished. It is a great challenge to take on and may even reveal a new talent; a new passion may be kindled in some of them. It is a known fact that the passion for yachting is highly contagious and no-one better than Giorgio Dalla Pietà can conveys its spirit. The teachers who will be following the stages of the project were present at the briefing. The projects will be presented by May.

Fairline Boats Wins the Queen’s Award

Fairline Boats is proud to announce that the company has won The Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2008 in the International Trade category. This is the second time in its history that the company has received a Queen’s Award for Enterprise. Accomplishments considered by the judging panel when bestowing this prestigious award upon Fairline include doubling of their export sales over the last three years, increased overseas distribution and the creation of new jobs. This Award is the most prestigious corporate accolade that a UK business can win and honours outstanding UK companies. On hearing the news Derek Carter acknowledged the hard work and professionalism of the entire Fairline team. The winning of The Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2008 comes the year after Fairline celebrated 40 years of boat building and confirms its position as a pre-eminent global player in the luxury motor yacht market - and proud British company based in Northamptonshire.

Ferretti Group to Float on Upbeat Forecast

Candover, the private equity company which bought Ferretti for €1.7 billion in October 2006, is braving the turmoil in the financial markets to return the company to public ownership through a flotation on the Milan stock exchange valuing the business at up to €3 billion ($5 billion). Ferretti CEO Vincenzo Cannatelli was quoted in The Financial Times last week as saying that he forecast the company would generate 20 per cent growth in turnover and profit for the next two to three years. In the year to last August, Ferretti reported a 33 per cent rise in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of €158 million on turnover of €933 million. Ferretti, of which the founder Norberto Ferretti still retains a large minority stake, has been a publicly quoted business twice before in the past 10 years as previous private equity owners have sought to maximise the return on their investment. The latest return to the stock market is scheduled for the second half of this year. Merrill Lynch and Mediobanca have won the mandate to work on the flotation which, if market conditions allow, is likely to be one of the few potential flotations of private equity owned companies this year. Following a period of intense acquisition activity by Ferretti in the late 1990s, during which time important brands where added to the group, more recent strategy seems to have been one of organic growth with the company doing particularly well with its larger, more expensive yachts.

Ferretti Yachts Press Campaign Celebrates 40th Anniversary

"It was in 1968. While the world was changing, Norberto Ferretti challenged the sea". That is the inspirational spirit behind the new Ferretti Yachts press campaign by the agency Lorenzo Marini & Associati celebrating the Forlì-based yard, now at the forefront of the nautical world. Forty years of continuous improvement, commitment and passion combined with increasing innovation, state of the art technologically, high-performance, sophisticated craft, reaching outstanding levels of safety, is what has made Ferretti the leader. Forty years of challenges, successes, and far-sightedness, expressed in the refined timeless elegance of a photo, the evocative black and white shot of the diver, where Ferretti Yachts captures the union between the man and the sea. The photo represents mankind's search for the essence of the deep blue waters and a love for the sea that is transformed into an intimate world, the philosophy of sailing the Ferretti way. The use of black and white is always a characteristic feature of Ferretti Yachts advertising, even in communications. When enhanced with passionate words, a clear, forceful message is created: "In 1968 someone changed the world. Someone else changed the sea."The new institutional campaign, bearing the special logo created for the 40th anniversary, is planned on the major nautical and lifestyle magazines, in conjunction with an important celebration project that includes events for Owners and everyone who has experienced, shared and contributed to the company's success.

Ferretti 40th Aniversary Privilege Days

Special edition of “Privilege Days”, the exclusive event dedicated to Ferretti Yachts, Mochi Craft and Ferretti Custom Line owners. Cattolica an historic location with special importance for the Ferretti Yachts yard hosted the eagerly-awaited Privilege Days event on 19th and 20th April, an exclusive opportunity for Ferretti Yachts, Mochi Craft and Ferretti Custom Line owners from across the world to meet. Now in its sixth edition, and inspired by the great success of previous years, the Privilege Days 2008 had a special significance, opening the celebrations of one of Italian industrys most exciting stories, written by Norberto Ferretti. During the Privilege Days Ferretti Yachts, Mochi Craft and Ferretti Custom Line, icons of Made in Italy luxury and excellence, shared passion for the sea with a cosmopolitan, privileged community that also took part in the world debut of new exclusive crafts. Cattolicas Marina Nuova, in fact, was entirely dedicated to the complete Ferretti Yachts range alongside the Mochi Craft and Ferretti Custom Line fleets, with the attraction of worldwide premires of the Navetta 33 and112 NEXT. For the special edition 2008, Privilege Days captivated guests with an evening of sheer style: the exclusive Black&White dinner party which - recreating the party of the century held by Truman Capote at New Yorks elegant Plaza Hotel in 1966 - brought together the world of Ferretti on Saturday 19 April at the Horses Riviera Resort. The more than 700 guests were offered breathtaking surprises during the party and on the quay during the weekend thanks to the participation of the greatest names in Italian and international luxury like Bulgari, La Perla and Mercedes. Ferretti Group President Norberto Ferretti, did the honours as hosts, sharing with friends, VIPs, ship owners and international media the historic milestones leading the shipyard to the top of the nautical world.

Grand Banks Earns Top Honors At Christolfe Asia Awards

Grand Banks Yachts was voted Best Asian Motor Yacht Builder at the fourth edition of the Christofle Asia Boating Awards. The company earned the top spot in the 40-70 foot category, during ceremonies held here today at Le Royal Meridien. The Christofle Asia Boating Awards show is widely known as the region's premier event, aiming to recognize the best of the maritime industry. The annual event, created by Asia-Pacific Boating and China Boating magazines, was first held in 2005. The Christolfe award is the latest in a series of accolades earned by Grand Banks for its operations in Singapore and Malaysia. The company was also recently honored with a 2007 Employer Award and Malaysia's Industry Excellence Award, among others.

Jeanneau Delivers Number Five Hundred 34 Prestige Model

Owing to excellence in construction and craftsmanship, the Prestige 34 has become the most popular motor yacht within its market sector, with 500 boats built in just five years. This achievement underscores a fine performance in both production and sales. The production of the 500th Prestige 34 is also a testament to the strength and growing popularity of Jeanneau’s Prestige line, launched in 2000. Composed of nine motor yachts, including Flybridge and Express models, the Prestige line is perfectly positioned to meet the demands of today’s consumer market. Conceptualized by the Italian firm, Garroni Designers, the Prestige 34 owes its success to uncommon comfort in the cockpit, a well-appointed interior offering unique design details, a very efficient Jeanneau hull, and an overall atmosphere of classic luxury. Both Open and Sport Top versions are available, allowing the Prestige 34 to take the lead in its market sector.

Marquis Yachts to Expand Wisconsin Facility

Marquis Yachts, a division of Genmar Holdings, announced yesterday that it intends to expand its facility in Pulaski, Wisconsin as well as open a new production facility in nearby Green Bay to build larger yachts. The announcement was made at a press conference that included Carver officials, Genmar Chairman Irwin Jacobs, and Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle. The Green Bay facility will allow to build Marquis yachts up to 30.5m (100ft). The Pulaski plant, which will be expanded to more than 800,000sq ft, manufactures Carver and Marquis yachts from 10.1m-19.8m (33ft-65ft) in length. Carver currently employs about 850 workers.

Riviera Exports Heading Europe

Australia’s largest luxury boat builder recently has completed a significant overseas shipment of 11 boats valued at more than $14 million. The boats, ranging from a 33 Open Flybridge to three 56 Open Flybridge models, were lifted on board the giant cargo ship Cap Mondego in Brisbane. Most of the shipment is for clients in Europe, with a 4700 Sport Yacht bound for the United States, unloading in Savannah, Georgia. The 33 Open Flybridge is bound for Belgium while the remainder will be unloaded in ports on the Mediterranean including the three 56 Open Flybridge models, one headed for the company’s Dealer at Barcelona in Spain, one to France and one to Italy. Other models in the shipment include two 45 Open Flybridge models with moulded staircase, a new 48 Offshore Express, a 4400 Sport Yacht with Volvo IPS propulsion, a 47 Series II Enclosed Flybridge and 51 Flybridge.

Sanlorenzo New CFO

Italian superyacht builder Sanlorenzo Spa has appointed Diego Cavalli as the firm's new chief financial officer. Cavalli was formally CFO with the Azimut-Benetti group and has worked in administrative and financial management since 1991. The new CFO will be responsible for consolidating a phase of growth and diversification at Sanlorenzo, which three years ago saw the opening of the firm's Viareggio division. Cavalli will also play a role in new initiatives that Sanlorenzo has planned for the future. With production facilities in northeast Italy, Sanlorenzo builds a range of luxury yachts up to superyacht size.

Sealine for the RYA

The Royal Yachting Association have used the award winning Sealine SC35 motor cruiser to demonstrate the boat handling techniques in their new training DVD. The new DVD, called ‘Motor Boat Handling’, emphasises the importance of good seamanship and safety practices, whilst at the same time illustrating how to manoeuvre your boat easily in confined spaces and most importantly, have fun. Most of the manoeuvring takes place in and around marina situations. Turning in close proximity to other boats and mooring up are the sort of procedures that can cause concern for new boaters. This excellent DVD shows you the way to develop your skills and start driving around the marina with a smile on your face instead of a nervous frown. Sealine’s Sea School principal, Richard Corbett, was really pleased that their continuing association with the RYA and the RYA’s confidence in Sealine as a suitable training platform, has lead the RYA to choose a Sealine for their DVD. The DVD is available to buy in September and is expected to be translated into a number of languages.

Sunseeker Makes Top 100 Profit List

The UK's Sunseeker International has appeared in The Sunday Times' Profit Track 100, a list of Britain's fastest growing private companies according to average profit growth. Sunseeker, which placed at number 70, has increased its profits by 58 per cent annually over the past three years. The company has also made significant investments in new shipyard facilities in Poole and Portland on Britain's south coast. Headquartered in Poole, Dorset, Sunseeker employs around 2,500 staff at its sites in Poole and Portland. Planned expansion at the Portland site will allow the company to meet increased orders for their larger models, including the Predator 108, 37 Metre Yacht and recently launched 34 Metre Yacht. Profit Track 100 is compiled by Fast Track and published in The Sunday Times each April.

Sunseeker Installs New Travelift

A new travel hoist capable of lifting boats of up 260 tonnes has been installed at Sunseeker International's Poole-based shipyard in the UK. Supplied by Wise Handling Ltd, the new hoist has a height of almost 13m (43ft) and is capable of launching or retrieving boats of up to 47m (154ft) at Poole Quay. Sunseeker says that a similar travel hoist will soon be delivered to the company's Osprey Quay shipyard in Portland, Dorset. The 11-acre site is currently being used for the construction of various models, including the 37 Metre, 34 Metre and Predator 108. A number of even larger models are currently in the design and development stage.

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