The Festival de la Plaisance Cannes, which took place between 10 and 15 September, was the setting for two of Italy’s superyacht heavyweights to hold their annual press conferences. Both the Azimut Benetti Group, and the Ferretti Group staged press conferences outlining their plans for the year ahead. Interestingly this year’s meetings provided an opportunity for both groups to consolidate their positions within the semi-custom markets. And with the travails at that end of the spectrum well documented, both Azimut Benetti and Ferretti were keen to emphasise the primacy of their Italian heritage, and consequent quality.

Targeting a sustained market presence in its three core markets – EMEA, America and APAC – and projected turnover of €900 million by 2018, the intention is to recoup 50 per cent of group revenues from outside Europe by this date.

The key to this, it was said, is by adopting a two-pronged approach. This will comprise investing up to €80 million in improving the efficiency of the group’s shipyards, whilst restructuring the operation and management of the group’s various brands.

Chiefly this will signal the amalgamation of the Ferretti Yachts, Ferretti Navetta and Custom Line brands under the ‘Ferretti’ banner. The Custom Line range of semi-custom superyachts up to 38m will also be marketed alongside the Ferretti Navetta range of displacement vessels up to 33m. “We are extremely proud to announce, on the occasion of the Cannes 2013 Boat Show, this important evolution in the group’s brand structure”, said the Group's CEO Ferruccio Rossi. “Our objective is to improve and further expand our range of ‘Made-in-Italy’ high-performing luxury yachts, thereby meeting even more effectively the needs of our customers in all the markets where we are currently present in and on the new ones where we want to make the most successful debut.”

Thirty-four metre Happy Days is the Custom Line range's most recent launch.

"This new development will allow us to achieve even better technical and functional excellence, to ensure our ever-increasing product range and will allow us the opportunity to obtain a flawless visual identity with these three different product lines through with a single, historical and universally recognized brand like Ferretti. This project is in line with our Group’s long-term objectives and aims to keep creating within our owners all those unique emotions that only the sea can give”, Rossi added. 

The Azimut Benetti Group meanwhile, under the auspices of its Benetti custom brand, presented its new range of performance superyachts at the show. The Fast Displacement line currently comprises the F-140’ and the F-125’, the latter being premiered at Cannes.  It is an attempt, claims the group, to explore the semi-custom ‘sporty’ market, an area that the Benetti brand has remained distinct from up to now.

Benetti CEO Vincenzo Poerio says, “Many of our clients have requested faster, more versatile and efficient boats, while maintaining the same level of comfort and customisation found in our existing yachts. The new Fast Displacement line is designed precisely in response to these requests, and it rounds out our current offering in the Class Range. We haven't just created a new series; we have invested time and resources - combining the Benetti's 140 years of experience in superyachts with the technological knowhow of Azimut Benetti Group - to create a new way of heading out to sea."

Most notably, the new range utilises Azimut Benetti’s D2P (Displacement to Planing) hull form technology, which marries the concept of planing performance with full displacement comfort. The technology has been under development for a number of years and these hulls are the first manifestation of it in the superyacht arena.

The F-125'.

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Benetti Yachts

Ferretti SpA

Custom Line SpA (Ferretti Group)

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