Costantino to Economy – Leadership is built in the shipyard of the dreams
“Business stories”: leadership is built on the shipyard of the dreams
Costantino continues to write new chapters in the saga of The Italian Sea Group: the acquisitions of Tecnomar, Admiral, Perini Navi, Picchiotti, the partnerships with Armani and Lamborghini, the listing but not only…
by Marina Marinetti
“Great dreams should never come to an end” If they come true, even better.
Giovanni Costantino made his dreams come true one after the other. And he continues to chase more.
Born in 1963, G. Costantino has written several chapters in the history of Italian yachting. The first in 2009, with the acquisition of one of the historic brands of Italian yachting, Tecnomar.
The second in 2011, with Admiral yachts, a brand recognized for its luxury superyachts and megayachts of up to and over 100 metres. And then, again, Nuovi Cantieri Apuania, finally giving shape, in Marina di Carrara, to The Italian Sea Group, with the largest private dry dock – 200 meters – in the Mediterranean, and an impressive production site of more than 244,000 meters squares.
The third in 2021, taking home the partnership with Giorgio Armani. For the construction of Admiral mega yachts designed by him, and the inauguration of the Tisg Academy for employees and graduating students of the Faculty of Engineering and Yacht Design.
And again in 2021, on 8 June, the fourth and perhaps most important chapter of the saga: the listing on Euronext Milan.
He never stopped, Giovanni Costantino: last year, in February, he acquired the iconic Perini Navi brands, a world leader in the creation of iconic sailing ships. And by Picchiotti Yacht, another historic brand that has its roots in the Medici Florence of 1575.
The next chapter?
We will open it on September 27th at the Monaco Yacht Show. Ours will be an impressive presentation and we will formalize the good performance of the company. We are going straight towards the objectives we had set ourselves – a 2023 outlook with revenues between 350 and 365 million euros and an Ebitda of 16-16.5%, ed. – not only with the achievement of the budget guidance, but with the certainty to go to the top of the fork.
We have a dense order book: with what we have in our belly, the guidance for 2024 – revenues between 400 and 420 million and a margin of 17-17.5%, ed. – is confirmed.
The latest public figure for the order book is 1,097 million euros as of March 31, 2023. There is no shortage of customers.
No, in fact, despite the trend in inflation worrying across all sectors.
But normally our client is an Ultra High Net Worth Individual (Uhnwi), with assets of at least 300 million. They are the richest people on the planet. And there are more and more. In 2023 there will be 579,625, 41.6% American, according to the latest Wealth Report by Knight Frank Wealth. But the Europeans aren’t doing too badly either: they are in second place with 241,253 people, followed by the Chinese and the Arabs. I repeat: you have no shortage of customers.
And we have never had a customer ask for access to any form of financial support.
But accounts aren’t everything
In fact, in Monaco we will present new interesting projects for the company and a project in partnership with a very important brand that I cannot anticipate. And other partnerships.
Beyond those with Giorgio Armani and Lamborghini? And other partnerships.
These are projects already started in the IPO phase, which we had in the back burner but we no longer continued in 2022 due to the crowding of news and activities, one for all the acquisition of Perini Navi and we did not want to concentrate the activities too much to consolidate the various projects.
Step by step
But also two. But the steps must be taken well, otherwise they risk losing value: the projects must be timed correctly. We are increasingly increasing our commitment and attention. And despite such a large custom-made order book, all activities are proceeding on schedule, as they always have: in our history there have never been delays in any aspect or in any detail.
Speaking of details: but is it true that each contract is at least 100 pages long?
Even more. The 100 pages are for the contract with the shipowner. Then there are another 400 or 500 pages of writing and graphics for the technical specifications and performance details: these are truly demanding contracts.
And how long does it take to see your dream come true?
It depends on the size of the dream: for a 50 metre, 24 months are enough. If, however, we are talking about a 90 metre, the months go up from 24 to 54. If we were to go beyond 100 metres, the times go up even more.
In addition to the hull there are systems, furnishings, paintings, finishings…
And to create them, workers that the historic nautical supply chain normally delegates to external suppliers. We have internalized them, otherwise we will not have the efficiency we have. That continuous innovation that we have always implemented scared the artisans and risked making the supply overpriced and the timing not performing well.
Did it help?
I would say yes: in our history we have never paid a penalty for delivery results. We have a very tight progress and budget control organization, which allows us to be defined as extremely reliable by our various Uhnwi customers who speak well of us to their Unhnwi friends. This very careful and respectful activity is feeding us with orders and positioning us in the right way on the market.
In short, there is economic sustainability. And the environmental one?
It is an extremely important topic for us: we pursue it in a transversal manner. We follow it in the propulsion of our yachts: half of the ships in production are hybrid or with electric support. Then, of course, we hear about hydrogen, about full electric, but for the power that a large yacht needs, these are a bit of flights of fancy and marketing arguments. The truth is that already today the systems are so sophisticated that the emissions are really low. But we are also very attentive to production activity: we have completed the coverage of all our warehouses with solar panels. In this period we are even producing totally green products. An interesting result, considering that we receive bills of between 300 and 400 thousand euros per month.
As for social sustainability?
More than sustainability, I would talk about social “mission”. In the area: over 600 employees work here in Marina di Carrara. And now, after the acquisition of Celi – the historic carpentry founded in Terni in 1920 and specialized in naval furnishings, ed. – we support another 130 families. Then there is related activities in the area: around 1500-1700 people supported by this project. The sacrifices we all make in the company are repaid by this great satisfaction.
G. Costantino, but did you imagine all this 14 years ago?
I entered the nautical sector after having carefully x-rayed it, says CEO G. Costantino. It’s easy to talk about now, but even then I had a clear idea of how I wanted to project the company. With what strategy, with a new way of offering this type of product to the rich of the world. As we move forward, the opportunities that follow one another and that come to each of us in any sector. They often happened to me at the right time, when I was ready to welcome and capitalize on them.
It was an extremely demanding journey: I started at 7am and finished at 11pm. In this respect, nothing has changed today: commitment is important, but so are professional satisfactions. And although we have done a lot, innovated a lot both in the product and in the business, in the partnerships, in the design, we have not stopped. We are moving forward with the same commitment as always, as when we were hungry to grow. Today that commitment and that hunger have remained the same.
The positioning of The Italian Sea Group which is headed by G. Costantino
The Italian Sea Group is listed on Euronext Milan and active in the construction and refit of motoryachts and sailing yachts up to 140 metres. It is according to the Global Order Book 2022, an international ranking drawn up by Boat International, the first Italian manufacturer of superyachts over 50 metres. It is the market leader in the world of luxury yachting on a global level. In particular in the segment of yachts over 50 metres, the company’s core business.
The success of the 75-metre megayacht Admiral Kensho, awarded “Motor-yacht of the year” at the prestigious World Superyacht Awards 2023, and the sale of three 70-metre megayachts, the Admiral GC-Force model. They further demonstrate how strong and established the positioning of the group’s brands is in the global yachting market. The company, headed by the entrepreneur G. Costantino, operates on the market with the brands Admiral, Tecnomar, Perini Navi and Picchiotti. Finally, it has a business unit, NCA Refit, which manages the repair and refit service with a focus on yachts over 60 metres.