How did Ferretti Group perform in 2017 and what are your expectations for 2018?
Over the last several years, Ferretti Group has experienced well-above-expected financial results. 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. In 2017, the Group’s consolidated production value equaled 623 million euros, demonstrating 10.8% growth over 2016. Moreover, the Group’s total assets reached 971 million euros, of which 46 million was composed of liquidity assets.
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 reinvest in the company. The outlook for 2018 foresees a production value of 704 million euros in addition to a recruitment plan to hire 80 people across all of our shipyards.
What are the strongest markets for your group? Are there markets you consider you are under-represented?
Europe and the Middle East continue to be our strongest market, though the Americas remain extremely important to the Ferretti Group. The Northeast is a great market for us. The Florida market is also very strong. A lot of that comes from our investment in the direct sales presence that we have there, and the focus on really building the brands.
The Asia-Pacific region is also growing for us, where we have been pioneers and continue to find potential for new clients, thanks to our portfolio of brands, a clear testimony to the high quality and technological know-how that make Italian-built products famous around the world.
How does the US market effect global market trends?
Space, style, performance and usability are the key factors for a buyer from the Americas. Our clients typically spend a higher concentration of time onboard their yachts, so functionality, reliability and use of space are paramount. Our new layouts and styling are geared towards making the yachts feel more like homes on the sea instead of just boats. This combined with our increased levels of quality fit and finish lead to a harmony between form and function that appeal universally to all markets, but are especially appreciated by these who spend extended time onboard.
What is the profile of a Ferretti Group consumer?
This is difficult to answer as with seven brands in our portfolio, a client who is drawn to one particular brand, may not be interested in another. But, we like to think we have something for everyone. The common thread uniting all of our clients is that they are looking for Italian design, technological innovation and unmatched service.
How does the digital world spark an interest in growth and brand awareness?
When I started at the Ferretti Group, I did not believe in digital growth. I did not believe that this business could benefit from digital growth, and I did not think that the clients of the superyacht industry were interested in these new ways of communication. Let me tell you – I was very wrong. The Ferretti Group have over 123,000 followers on Instagram, and we are regularly getting leads through channels like this. They see something beautiful and want to own it. It’s truly the way the next generation will be buying yachts.
Digital growth will help us as a business to communicate a message that many people see as just for the very few at the top. We should not be snobbish here, we should be realistic. Of course, we know that only a few people in the world can afford a yacht, but should we stop thousands of people from dreaming and aspiring? The bigger the fan base, the better for everyone.
What are the trends in yacht building? Is “bigger always better”?
One of the most recently launched innovations from Ferretti Group is what we call the Beach Club. Located in the stern of our new Ferretti Yachts 780, the tailgate opens to transform the space into a relaxing area close to the water. Offering all the comforts of a real beach club, it allows our owners to experience the water, without having to leave the vessel.
We build to suit for any of our clients, but in fact, 2017 was one of the most fruitful years for Ferretti Group for yachts between 30 and 40 meters. Still, our owners will continue to dream and we will continue to design and create new models to match those dreams. In 2018, we expect to launch and reveal several yachts including the impressive Riva 50m, the first product in the Riva Superyachts Division.
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