April 30, 2017

Monthly News - April 2017

-pic of the Month- Princess Partners with Bentley

Azimut Wins at Asia Boating Awards 2017

The Italian shipyard wins the “Best Brand Presence in Asia” award for its ongoing commitment to promote the brand in the region.  The 13th edition of the Asia Boating Awards, organised by the influential Asia-Pacific Boating and China Boating magazines, rewarded all the work put in by Azimut Yachts in recent years to consolidate the brand’s leadership position on Asian markets.  At the gala event hosted by the ONE°15 Marina in Singapore, Azimut Yachts received the top award in the “Best Brand Presence in Asia” category. The prize recognises the strategy launched by the shipyard more than two years ago to strengthen the brand’s commercial presence in the area, based on the broad network of local single-brand partners, dedicated exclusively to the shipyard’s collections, which Azimut Yachts has been building for some time now. From April 6 to 9, 2017, Azimut Yachts attended the Singapore Yachts Show at Sentosa Cove Marina, in Singapore, with a fleet of six yachts, including two from the Grande collection. The Italian brand has been represented at the show by single-brand dealer Azimut Yachts Singapore, which has been operating in the area since June 2016. At the present time, the shipyard has exclusive dealers in Thailand, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Philippines, Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam and China. Commenting on this major award, Azimut Yachts General Manager Marco Valle said: “The Best Brand Presence award sends a clear signal that the initiatives we’ve taken in Asia reflect the needs of local customers perfectly. This is confirmed by first half results, which report over 25% turnover growth in the area on last season. This means we’re successfully conveying all the passion for the sea and the Italian lifestyle for which the Azimut Yachts brand is an international ambassador, and this award encourages us to do even more”.

Baglietto Run for Kids

The Baglietto 1854 team –Laura, Michele, Alessandro and Francesco- has crossed the line of the 2017 Milano Relay Marathon in 3h 34’ 54’’. The marathon took place today in Milan with an ethical goal that Baglietto endorsed with enthusiasm. Run4Kids has the aim to get funds for Sport Senza Frontiere (SSF), an Onlus that organizes and manages free sport courses for unfortunate kids and teenagers, with the guidance of qualified staff, in collaboration with a strong network of sports and health associations.  Education, social integration and well-being represent the main goals of the Onlus, the same values that Baglietto shares and supports.  The fund collection is still possible until the of June.

Ferretti Group Continues on Growth Path

Ferretti Group continues on the growth path: 2016 results over the expectations and further investments for more than 46 million euros in 2017.  Great performance of the first quarter confirms 2017 objectives.  Consolidated production value reached 562.5 million euros, +36% compared to 2015, The EBITDA of 52.7 million euros compared to 7 million euros in 2015 confirms the strong growth trend;  Net profit of 2016 reached 14 million euros.  Ferretti Group presented today in Milan the financial results of 2016 and those of the first quarter of 2017. The Group announced the first elements of a two-year investment plan. 2016 results registered a consolidated production value equal to 562.5 million euros, demonstrating 36% growth compared to 414.8 million euros in 2015. This value is also higher than the one established at the beginning of 2016 at 556 million euros.  The EBITDA, already in positive territory in the first quarter of 2016, managed to surpass the important threshold of 50 million euros at the end of the year, reaching 52.7 million euros compared to 7 million of the previous year. Thus, also this indicator was over the expectations. 2016 is the first year of net profit since 2008. Profit After Taxes (PAT) passed from -29 million euros in 2015 to +14.1 million euros in 2016.  “In a three-year period Ferretti Group proved to be a company able to accomplish a real turn around, obtaining great commercial success, which led to well above expected financial results” commented Alberto Galassi, CEO of Ferretti Group. “The new models have become the most important drivers of growth thanks to their design, quality and high standards of innovation, which made them objects of desire since their debut.  I’m particularly proud to have led the Group to double-digit net results: profit which the shareholders, Weichai Group and Mr. Piero Ferrari, who never stop supporting the Group, have decided to wholly re-invest in the company.  Moreover, today we are more than proud that the extraordinary success achieved by the Group gave serenity to Carlo Riva’s last years. The objectives of 2017 are challenging but possible to achieve as we can rely on further investments, on an efficient and well performing organization and on 9 new products that Ferretti Group is ready to present to the market.”  In 2017 the Group’s goal is to consolidate its leadership position in the sector after the last two year’s exponential growth, with a serial brand order intake which reached 401 million euros at the end of 2016, increasing by more than 170 million euros in only two years.  The possibility to reach this challenging objective is supported by 2017’s first quarter results. At 31st of March the production value was 145.8 million euros, while in the same period the EBITDA reached 11.3 million euros, with a profit already over 4 million euros.  Ferretti Group also announced further investments for 46.4 million euros, of which 25 million in Research & Development while 21.4 million in the growth of the production capacity. The investments planned for the shipyards, between the end of 2017 and 2018, could bring to a personnel hiring plan for 80 young talents in all production sites, all over Lombardy, Liguria, Emilia Romagna and Marche.  This growth plan will be implemented only in case of a reduction in the company’s labour costs, which could be possible due to the application of the new Welfare regulations, which at the same time guarantee the increase of the employee’s purchasing power. In order to reach this result, the collaboration of the trade unions is essential, thus Ferretti Group intends to reach an agreement as soon as possible with the latter organizations. The hiring will regard in particular the Ancona shipyard, dedicated to the construction of maxi yachts in steel and aluminium of CRN, Riva and Pershing brands and to those of Custom Line in fiberglass.  The construction of all Custom Line models will be moved to the Group’s “Superyacht Yard” in Marche, where at the moment all semi-displacement vessels are built, enabling to concentrate in Ancona the building of the maxi fibreglass planing yachts too. 

Palumbo Enters SYBAss Membership

Palumbo Group is proud to announce the official entry to the Superyacht Builders Association (SYBAss). This important achievement opens the Group’s celebration of half a century of activity. Palumbo in fact started in 1967 as a fairly small carpentry and metalwork yard to support the local shiprepair industry. Today the company is an international group with a strong family approach, grown to become a major player in the shipping industry and is building up its reputation and awareness in the luxury yacht world for both new build and refit-repair.  Serving the Mediterranean and East Atlantic with 7 shipyards, a branch office in Monaco and a team of professionals, Palumbo Superyachts (refit/repair division) supports customers with a wide range of time sensitive multitasking services.  The new build division which has been operating under Columbus Yachts since year 2008 recently welcomed ISA Yachts - one of the most celebrated international brands in the superyacht industry. “Being a member of SYBAss”, said Giuseppe Palumbo – Ceo of Palumbo Group, “is a reward for our passion and determination, which characterized 50 years of activity, just as the attention and the high standards that we adhere to in the interests of both the industry and the environment”.

Princess Partners with Bentley

The Bentley Continental GT3 on display in front of the global launch of the Princess V40 at boot Düsseldorf in January 2017.  Bentley Motorsport has signed a three-year sponsorship deal with luxury manufacturer Princess Yachts, which will see the two global brands partner together in exciting motorsport activities around the world.  The partnership brings together two British brands that epitomise performance, elegance and luxury, mixing cutting-edge technology with traditional craftsmanship and setting new standards within their industries.  Princess Yachts will join Bentley Motorsport's other brand partners and the iconic luxury yacht manufacturer's branding will be seen on the new 2017 livery for the Continental GT3s racing in the Blancpain GT Series in Europe, Pirelli World Challenge in the USA and China GT series in Asia.  Kiran Haslam, Marketing Director for Princess Yachts said: "The partnership has always been very real in the hearts and minds of our customers. Currently Princess customers engage with Bentley at most of our global events, an in Dusseldorf this year, where Princess displayed the largest line up at BOOT 2017 we teased the new motorsport partnership at an exclusive private event. The enthusiasm and excitement generated was incredible, and the opportunities for both Bentley and Princess to work together collaboratively has really ignited a series of exciting activities."  "We first ran with the Princess Yachts branding on the Continental GT3 when we raced at Bathurst 12 Hours," commented Bentley's Director of Motorsport Brian Gush. "The logo was shown on TV on the side of the Bentleys for almost two hours of the 12-hour race, which we all agreed was a fantastic amount of air-time. The partnership went well and we were all keen to progress it further." In addition to branding, the partnership will include joint activities that bring the worlds of luxury yachts and exhilarating motor racing together, to deliver truly exceptional experiences to Princess and Bentley customers all across the world.

Riviera Festival Combines Education and Spectacle

Australia's world-class luxury motor yacht builder, Riviera, is celebrating after its sixth annual Festival of Boating on Queensland's Gold Coast concluded last week.  The three-day Festival brought together Australia's most comprehensive motor yacht education program and a series of spectacular social events.  Riviera Brand and Communications Director, Stephen Milne, said: "We created the Festival six years ago for luxury motor yacht owners and people aspiring to this unique lifestyle to grow their boating confidence and knowledge."  Glen and Mary Phillips are new to the Riviera family of motor yacht owners.  "Riviera really knows how to look after its owners," said Glen. "It was a fantastic experience and our entire family was involved. Our young boys took a tender handling course, I wanted to learn more about first aid and the Volvo systems in our yacht. Mary took the ladies skipper course and she is now enrolled in a course to get her skipper's licence!".   Lori Sexton flew from Perth with husband Derek specifically for the workshop program.  "You can't get these personalised sessions anywhere else," said Lori.   Over the three days, the Festival offered more than 100 workshops, seminars and on-water tutorials covering 39 separate subjects from technical to safety and lifestyle, each delivered by experts in their fields. They included safe towing and rafting, advanced weather forecasting, the science of antifouling, preventive maintenance, offshore seamanship, radar, planning and provisioning a galley, emergency protocols, navigating at night and much more.

Sunseeker Returns to Profit

Sunseeker International Holdings Limited (SIHL) audited accounts reveal that it moved back to profit with a £6 million (EBITDA) for the year ending 31st December 2016. This was a defining year for Sunseeker, during which it delivered five new models, a record number for any one year, and saw its forward order book increase by 41% by volume year-on-year.  The figures reflect a £36 million (EBITDA) profit improvement since 2014 and are the result of a significant restructuring and refocusing of the business, together with substantial investment across new product, improved facilities and its people. The market reaction to these new products has been particularly strong and has helped the business increase revenue by 25% from £202.6 million in 2015 to £252.4 million, creating a strong platform for future profitable growth. As well as creating over 400 new jobs since 2014, the company has announced plans to recruit a further 170 people in 2017 to support further volume growth.  Sunseeker launched a record five new models across the size range in 2016 from the Manhattan 52 and Predator 68 to the larger 95, 116 and 131 Yachts, collectively securing over £220 million of orders at retail value to-date. The Manhattan 52, which won the award for ‘Best Flybridge up to 55ft’ at the 2017 Motor Boat Awards, is now the brand’s fastest-selling model to-date with over 80 retail orders in its first five months.  Phil Popham, CEO of Sunseeker commented: “It has been a remarkable turnaround in such a short space of time and much of this can be attributed to our strategy to continually invest across the key areas of the business, especially our products. New and exciting products breed growth in this market and the response we have had for our latest models has been nothing short of incredible. We are confident this is going to continue too as we will be investing a further £50 million across the business to support a bold product plan that will see many more new introductions over the next few years.”  He continues, “2016 has been a defining year for Sunseeker and I’d like to personally thank the whole Sunseeker team for their hard work and dedication and our shareholder Wanda Group for their continued support to help make this possible. The business is on a fresh course, not just to strengthen our position as Britain’s largest boat builder, but as the global leader for luxury performance superyachts. All this, underpinned by a strong forward order book, means we are extremely excited about the future.”  The multiple product model launches are set to continue as part of a long-term product plan, which will see several new model introductions over the next five years. Already in 2017, Sunseeker has launched two new models, the Manhattan 66 and 68 Sport Yacht, which were revealed at the London Boat show in January, and further introductions are planned for later in the year.

Viking 53 Years

Fifty-three years ago on April 1, marks the start of the Viking Yacht Company when brothers Bill and Bob Healey began their boat building careers. Wood was choice material back then and the brothers focused on producing traditional-looking cruising and fishing boats built in a small factory with dirt floors and no heat. In the early days, the brothers followed the trends of the various South Jersey boat builders and catered to a growing market that was expanding into motor yachts. But the Atlantic City born brothers would not stay in the shadow of others for long. Following was not their style. Instead they would lead with a passion to build a better boat every day. When fiberglass was emerging as the new wave for boat building, Viking wasted no time embracing this material. In 1972 Viking launched the 40 Sedan Fisherman with a unique engine mounting system featuring structural steel web frame I-beams well suited for diesel installations.  This boat would remain in production for 16 years in various configurations as 40/41 models. With over 600 built, it is an industry legend and many of them remain in use around the world. The 1980s was a pivotal decade in the history of Viking. Boats were getting larger, faster and lavishly equipped with luxurious amenities. The popularity of boating was growing in leaps and bounds and Viking complied with a fleet that expanded from three models to more than 10, from 35 to 50 feet. A federal luxury tax instituted in 1991 crushed the marine industry for three years as buyers avoided the tax and refused to order new boats. Marine manufacturers and dealers struggled to stay in business. Many did not, and thousands of marine related jobs evaporated from the waterfront. Viking struggled like many and saw its workforce gutted from 1,500 employees to 65. Bob Healey took on Washington and led protests, attended government meetings and fought back through 1993 to get the tax repealed.  Meanwhile at Viking, Bill Healey and the skeleton crew kept the doors open and worked on new designs. When the tax was finally repealed, buyers came back slowly at first, but the pace picked up when they saw Viking was ready with fresh and new designs. At the 1997 Fort Lauderdale Boat Show, the Viking 55 was unveiled and proved to be a turning point for the company, that let us leapfrog over the competition. The Viking Yacht Company entered the 2000s like an 18-wheeler on steroids. Larger models ruled and the Viking 70C set a new bar for big convertibles. Always showcasing new models, Viking ruled the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show in 2014 with an incredible 92 Convertible.  Across the dock was the Viking 75 Motor Yacht representing a return to this portion of the market. The 80 Convertible followed a year later. Last fall the 72 Convertible joined the fleet to rave reviews. As Viking enters its 54th year of continuous operation it will be interesting what it will offer to continue reign leading the industry.

Zeelander at Monaco Grand Prix

Anticipation is high as the most important racing event of the year is nearing. Months of preparation and years of R&D have gone into this event. It is the Grand Prix Monaco. Mercedes, Red Bull, and Ferrari are the major players this year and Zeelander will have its presence too.  In collaboration with Amber Lounge, Zeelander will ensure that all F1 drivers and Celebrities will arrive in style to the most prestigious events surrounding the race. Amber Lounge will be hosting VIP race viewings, a one-of-a-kind F1 driver fashion show, fine dining, a live charity auction and three nights of euphoric after parties. The Monaco Grand Prix will be held from the 25th until the 28th of May. Watch the video below to catch a glimpse of what we are sponsoring.

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