Costantino (The Italian Sea Group) speaks with Daily Nautica: “We will keep growing with the Perini Navi brand”

Giovanni Costantino, president and founder of The Italian Sea Group, talks to us in an interview about business success, objectives and sustainability, and a focus on boat owners

30 April 2022 | by Redazione
Giovanni Costantino

The Italian Sea Group is the top Italian shipyard in the construction of boats over 50 metres. Confirming this is the Global Order Book 2022. Its president and founder, Giovanni Costantino, in his interview with Daily Nautica, talks about the Group’s success and objectives, and its prestigious brands.

The success of The Italian Sea Group, which always puts its clients and the environment first in designing its super yachts, is certain to grow even more with their acquisition of Perini Navi.

You are among the top Italian manufacturers for vessels over 50 metres. When you started out, did you ever think you could achieve this result?

According to the Global Order Book 2022 we are the top Italian shipyard in the construction of boats over 50 metres. This is very satisfying. We reached eighth place in the general ship builders rankings, which is the list where the construction time-efficiency ratio is ranked.

We are currently building 27 orders in our over 50m yacht segment, for an overall length of 757 metres. This result has been achieved through a decade of hard work, sacrifice, and achievements. In a growing and quickly expanding market, we will continue to reinforce our position as one of the top world players, not only because of our company reputation, but also because of the high quality of our ships, which has been internationally recognised.

Giovanni Costantino, founder and CEO of The Italian Sea Group

How have owner requirements changed over time?

Our clients have a desire for adventure and freedom, they are looking for yachts that can sail in any conditions and place, and they want a shorter distance between the interior and exterior of the ship so they have a continuing connection with the water. But, above all, they want singularity, perfection, and a guarantee that every one of their needs will be satisfied without compromise.

What has been the most bizarre client request that you have had to satisfy?

I wouldn’t say bizarre. For us the central focus is the boat owner, with whom we work in partnership throughout all phases of the design. The innovations you see in our yachts often start with their demands, which we try and turn into singular products.

In general, market trends show, at a global level, that their is an increasingly marked demand for yachts with a non-conventional shape, so much so that Explorers are taking over an increasingly larger slice of the market, both for their performance and layout.

We develop concepts in line with our quality and performance standards. Style innovation is certainly a part of us: each of our yachts is unique and we are constantly researching new creative solutions.

Costantino, you always say, “great dreams must never end.” And with the acquisition of Perini Navi, you have given new life to a dream, providing a future for one of Italy’s most iconic brands. What work do you think is needed in order to bring Perini’s sailing megayachts back on top?

The acquisition of Perini Navi allowed The Italian Sea group to consolidate in the large sailing yacht segment, where it already had a relevant presence thanks to its construction of one of the biggest catamarans in the world, 46.5 metres long and 18 metres wide.

At the moment, we have 5 sailing yachts in our portfolio with this brand, including two 56 metre ketches, which were commissions from December. We think we will close the year with another two contracts. Net of new orders, we are convinced that our work with Perini Navi will guarantee us further visibility in a market segment with a strong and dynamic demand. We are confident we have made the right choice, pushed ahead by an incoming order that brought us over the 50% forecast.

What pushed your group to be so determined in acquiring Perini Navi?

The acquisition of Perini Navi was an exceptionally important achievement for TISG’s strategy. I wanted this very much because it works in harmony with our growth strategy and with our skills in the sailing sector, which have already been recognised by the market.

In addition, we needed to increase the spaces, seeing as expanding the production centre in Carrara will not be enough to fulfil the entire order book. The acquisition of two sites gives space for growth and better logistics management. We have all the bases and skills to best promote the Perini Navi and Picchiotti brands.

With this integration, TISG can leverage its internal skills, developed in the sailing yacht business and on concrete experience, in promoting acquired assets and brands, as can be seen by the growth achieved by relaunching Admiral and Tecnomar.

Promoting Perini Navi will be favoured also by the fact that the company’s collapse did not involve the brand values, which have remained intact, as demonstrated by the prices shown in the latest statistics from the second-hand market. The complete integration of the two teams will contribute to creating and consolidating an internal culture in construction projects and refitting of sailing yachts.

In your Group, starting with the name, there is a lot of Italian manufacturing. But, where do your clients come from?

Our market is global and our clients come from all around the world. We have officially entered the American market for large scale yachts, consolidating TISG’s position as a global player in the mega yacht segment, through the sale of the 82 metre Admiral Galileo.

The boating industry has once again become very dynamic and the mega yacht segment has shown itself to be more resilient compared to other segments, also because the loyal clients are international and made up only of Ultra High Net Worth Individuals, who are less impacted by economic recessions.

Speaking of yachts over 100 metres, the first place we think about is usually Germany or Holland which, notwithstanding their problems of canals separating their shipyards from the sea, are leaders in this segment. In your opinion, why does Italy not demonstrate its construction skills in this segment?

I believe that every company chooses the market segment where it wants to work based on a number of factors. We chose to specialise in the large scale yachts, and the market is showing us we made the right choice.

2021 was extremely positive and represents the capitalisation of a road, taken in 2009, which has led us to an international niche segment both in quality and size, megayachts – a market segment that, for design and production, is the most difficult, but also the most selective.

What does sustainability mean to you and how is it being carried out within the shipyard?

We have begun an ecological transition covering every aspect of the shipyard. In regards to production, in addition to hybrid engines, planned for over half of the commissions, in which the kinetic energy produced by the yacht’s movement is transformed into electricity for the engine itself, TISG is working in developing hydrogen propulsion.

In the shipyard, we are very attentive about the environment and the management and recycling of waste, building a waste separation area and are increasingly focusing on renewable energy so we can completely cover our daily energy requirements.

Between now and June next year, all our warehouses, a total of 60 thousand square metres, will be covered in solar panels. This will cover 50% of the company needs.

We are also focussing greatly on training our employees and on women: we have 100 women in the company, so 20% of our workforce, and we have no difference between a woman’s salary and that of a man. We also focus on local sustainability, and work in charity projects and urban landscaping. We truly have a fully encompassing concept of sustainability.

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