Italian new build superyacht market in good health


The new build superyacht market remains healthy – and it shows. Publicly-owned Italian shipyards Ferretti, Sanlorenzo and The Italian Sea Group (TISG) reported an increase in first-quarter (Q1) revenues from yacht sales, billion-euro backlogs and infrastructure investments. Further rises in their already large backlogs are particularly significant.

Italian shipyards hold a 23% share of the new build market for superyachts over 24m (70ft) and have built on average 12.2 yachts per shipyard over the past decade, according to The SuperYacht Times State of Yachting 2023 report.

The 30m (98ft) to 40m (131ft) market still belongs to the Italians. Between 2013 and 2017, Italian yards built 43% of the new builds in this segment, but between 2018 to 2022, their share rose to 59%. Italian yards also dominate the 40m to 50m segment, with their share of completions growing from 41% during 2013-2017, to 57% during 2018-2022.

Now let’s talk money. Demand was still strong in the first quarter. TISG, Sanlorenzo and Ferretti all saw sales rise year-on-year. TISG announced record first quarter revenues, with new builds totalling €68.7m ($73.5m), a 17.8% increase from the same three months of 2022. This was because of strong sales of yachts above 60m (196ft) and a 15.2% increase in revenues from its refit projects of €12.1m.

Sanlorenzo reported total sales of €183.7m ($199m) for its first quarter – up 11.8% on the same quarter in 2022. Superyacht deliveries contributed strongly. The company’s Superyacht Division, which builds yachts up to 73m, recorded sales of €46.4m for the quarter, up 41.4% compared with 2022. Its 24m-38m yacht Division had sales of €117.4m.

Ferretti Group achieved sales of €280.3m for the first three months, up 9.3% compared with 2022. Superyachts contributed €18.1m – down from the €24.7m in the same quarter last year. It had made-to-measure or custom superyachts sales of €99.9m, up from €96.1 in Q1 2022.

All three yards now have backlogs of more than €1bn. Sanlorenzo has continued to see growth in its backlog, up 5.2% from the same time last year at €1.24bn. Deliveries for the Yacht Division now reach well into 2025 and up to 2026 for the Superyacht Division.

Ferretti Group’s order backlog of €1.5bn (€1.63bn) has increased by 15.4% since the end of December 2022. Superyachts account for more than a quarter (25.7%) of this, totalling around €384.6m in value. Composite yachts reached €489.9m and made-to-measure (custom) yachts €549.1m, accounting for 32.7% and 36.7% of the total backlog respectively.

TISG’s order book totalled around €1.08bn. As of March 31st, 2023, there were 33 projects in production, 20 of which were superyachts (over 24m) with scheduled deliveries reaching into 2027.

All three also bought suppliers. Sanlorenzo acquired controlling shares in two companies in its supply chain; a 49% stake in yachting electrical systems installation firm, Sea Energy and a further 33% stake in luxury furniture firm Duerre, giving it a 66% majority.

Ferretti spent €40m on the acquisition of Cantiere San Vitale shipyard in Ravenna, northern Italy in March, which has led to an additional production capacity of around 20%, according to company CEO Alberto Galassi.

TISG acquired a majority stake in carpentry company Celi. Giovanni Costantino, CEO and founder, TISG said it would allow the shipyard to increase control on its activities related to yachts’ interiors and marginality increase, as well as present an opportunity to move into the global high-luxury real estate and hospitality sectors.

Meanwhile, there’s every sign that sustained growth for Italian superyacht brands like TISG, Sanlorenzo and Ferretti will continue. The rate of growth may not be as large as it has been in recent years, but with revenues and billion-euro backlogs still climbing, the new build market is still vibrant. The forthcoming Q2 results might give a better indication of growth rates and forecasts for the years ahead.

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