After the latest acquisitions, a phase of consolidation begins but with innovations that concern the processing of steel for interiors, the expansion of the offices and the target of exceeding 400 million euros in 2024

15th January 2024

For the series of interviews with the most important names in the yachting industry in Italy, Nicola Capuzzo of SUPER YACHT 24 interviews Giovanni Costantinofounder and CEO of The Italian Sea Group, a shipyard in Marina di Carrara and in La Spezia active in refitting and in new constructions with the Admiral, Tecnomar, Tecnomar for Lamborghini 63, Perini Navi and Picchiotti brands.

From the investments in the production plants, to the new projects, to the progressive integration with the related industries, up to the future generational transition, in this interview the CEO traces the route that The Italian Sea Group intends to follow to continue to be one of the main Italian protagonists in the design and construction of motor and sailing super yachts.

With an always very attentive eye on every detail to create recognizable and innovative pleasure vessels.

Let’s start from the Marina di Carrara construction site where you recently obtained an extension of the concession: what prospects, expansions and investments will it have?

“We have completed the huge investment which saw multiple batches of activities: TISG 4.0, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3 and 4.4; the latest was the expansion of the Chiesa quay with a new marina.

Once again we have decided to expand the offices by another 2,500 m2, with a new reception for shipowners; the current spaces are no longer enough. It is an important intervention, as always of great aesthetic and design value.

In addition to this we have to make a series of changes in the production area because we have decided to start a new business unit which is fundamental for the development of our business: as everyone now knows, ours is the development of an extremely sophisticated product, very difficult for the values of interior, also because we now deal on all ships with starchitects from all over the world, often selected by the owners themselves. And then the development of important and quality aesthetic details is right in our DNA.”


What exactly are you referring to?

“We have decided to expand an internal business unit which is that of steels for interiors.

We have a very large steel mill which is 100% dedicated to our construction site. This business unit is connected to the production of stanchions, handrails, bollards and mooring islands; we do everything inside, all the details of the engine rooms.

The interior work, on the other hand, is a much more sophisticated workmanship on steel, it’s a bit like a jewelery shop: to give you an idea, a wardrobe or door handle that comes from the project, as well as a whole series of details, shutters, bands, everything that is completed in a sophisticated design, which often has different finishes, bronze, brassed, burnished, galvanic baths. From January onwards we will be autonomous in all of this activity – we have already ordered the entire fleet of machines which will be numerically controlled – and we will do it internally.

When we push ourselves to do activities like these internally it is because we need extreme precision, even in times, which suppliers, being artisans, are often unable to give us. Suppliers are often used to the nautical market where everything slides, while we don’t slide.”

Is this why, compared to other shipyards that make different choices and perhaps acquire companies, you prefer to internalize and have direct control over times and quality?

“We prefer to manage with direct employees and we also did this at the Village Restaurant, which we manage with TISG employees because we want the level of detail to be our own; when you enter a structure that already has a mentality it is difficult to change it.

With this finishing steelworks we believe we can also work for the related industries and, therefore, for some colleagues in the yachting sector on the one hand, but also for a world that arises from tailor-made design such as that of the 5-star hotel industry.”

Perini Navi

How do you see The Italian Sea Group in the long term? In at least 10 years…

“I’ll answer you by completing the reason why we postponed the work on the expansion of the offices until 2024: we dedicated ourselves to an activity which is that of the former headquarters of the Perini carperntry in Viareggio, which is in fact an entire building; we renovated everything, we rebranded it and we reactivated the Perini carpentry of the time. The work is finished, the carpentry activities have restarted, it will be a hub that will work mainly on interior activities for the Perini Navi.

Activities have also begun on a Perini Navi commercial flagship in Viareggio, which will be open every day with our collaborators. It will be located on the opposite side of the road from the construction site, it is the most beautiful building in Viareggio, completely renovated in our style.”

So what do you think will happen in the next decade?

“I’m not able to say in detail what might happen in 10 years’ time; in 2024 we will continue to grow according to what we defined in the Capital Markets Day last year where we gave the objectives for 2023 and those for 2024.

The 2023 objectives have all been achieved, in the minimum-maximum range we are at the maximum, however we have already made it official that in 2024, with what we have in our belly as orders, we will reach the objective, which means growing by another fifty million of euros and therefore from 360 to 400/420 million.

In February we will have a new Capital Markets Day which will also illustrate the next objectives.

In the future we will continue to grow by consolidating everything we have done – brands, product lines, various activities – and then observing further development channels that we will identify over the next 12/18 months.

The growth of these years, including the start-up of Perini and Picchiotti, has been very challenging; now we need, by continuing to grow, to consolidate the entire structure and our organisation. The spaces are optimized to continue to grow and therefore now we can find other areas that may also come from possible further acquisitions.”


Acquisitions in which direction?

“It is likely that we will do something synergistic in the extra sector, all things considered in the sector in terms of brand portfolio and type of products we have almost everything, but I do not rule out that if certain opportunities were to present themselves to us we could certainly seize them.”

When you say outside the sector, which one specifically are you referring to?

“Always luxury, always our customer. We have finished the renovation of Celi 1920, another incredible job where 5/6 million euros were invested and we did it in record time, we are talking about another 20 thousand m2.

We will aim for Celi’s further growth in the non-luxury sector.”

Giovanni Costantino

Is The Italian Sea Group preparing for an important generational transition?

“I have started a process of supporting company seniors who have great experience but who have also grown in age with the company.

I’m thinking about myself too, with the initiation and increasingly strong inclusion of my son Gianmaria who in the future will take care of the entire financial part, and of my daughter Carlotta who is studying law at Bocconi and who will certainly be able to contribute with her great attitude a great contribution to our legal department.”

Tecnomar for Lamborghini 63

Are the ongoing international crises complicating your work in terms of production?

“Even at this time when we are paying the price for all the slowdowns caused by the war in Ukraine which has created problems with energy and the blockade of many materials, plus now the problem in the Gaza Strip, despite all this we have not no production or sales process slowed down because everything went according to budget.”

Even from a demand point of view, especially for the target you are addressing and for the market segment where you operate, we haven’t seen the slowdown, right?

“Nothing as far as we are concerned. Ours is an extremely resilient positioning and therefore the inflation phenomenon of recent months has also affected boating mainly in the lowest segment, i.e. the one where even the positioning of 10 million euro yachts refers to bank financing and the various leasing systems, etc.

In our 70, 80, 90, 100 million euro segment, those who are stable invest in a yacht. As long as I can remember we have never met a customer who has done a leasing, not even in the sale of the Tecnomar for Lamborghini 63 motoryachts, the price of which is around 4 million.”


Instead, in geographical terms, where do you have more interesting prospects on the demand side?

“We currently have over 27 active orders and there isn’t an area in the world that can give you 7 yachts of 70 meters, there are those who can give you one and then another and another, so it’s really global our presence to be able to do the numbers we do.

We have made sales in the United States, but we also have one in Asia, one in France and another in Germany, one in Canada. We are now starting an expansion strategy also in Africa which sees a good presence of billionaires.

Our sales portfolio is truly very random.”

Is Africa a new market that is opening up for Tisg?

“Yes, from the general, geopolitical and economic studies that we constantly carry out, Africa is now an interesting country that we are keeping under observation.”

Perini Navi

What do the latest acquisitions you have made, Perini Navi in particular, hold for the near future in terms of new projects and investments?

“In terms of investments, we have already done what we had to do with Perini.

We had the La Spezia site, we completely renovated it.

The expansion needs of Carrara as production spaces also required an expansion of spaces to support production, expansion of warehouses, upholstery and all those related areas.

So we moved the entire Tecnomar for Lamborghini63 supply chain to La Spezia, which was completely renovated to also accommodate part of the refit activities.

We have also invested in the new Picchiotti fleet, the first is in production, a boat that has a somewhat particular model, vintage, old American style, a bit like the “Kennedy Style“.

Having currently also three Perini Navi sailing yachts in production, we don’t have to make any further investments, we just need, as we are doing, to ride commercially.”

So what do you see in the future of Perini Navi?

“A Perini, understood as a large sailing yacht, is not like a decade ago. The demand for that sailing yacht has dried up a lot but I must say that we knew this, even at the time of the acquisition, so we didn’t take Perini because we thought we would sell five sailing yachts a year, it’s impossible.

We will sell one or two, large ones, and the brand will do its thing, but with Perini we have the general brand recognition which has given a further boost to the Group, being the most recognized brand in the world in the yachting sector.”

One last question on the refit: what prospects do you see and how much will this segment be worth to you in the future?

“I must say that with the refit we have achieved stability, we have had six years of crazy growth, next year’s budget will exceed 35 million euros, so it is still growing; there too we must further qualify the type of intervention we carry out by working increasingly on projects that we like, which are important and large in size.

We have achieved stability by working on large, medium and even simpler jobs, while now we will push on slightly more sophisticated projects, which are also a source of enthusiasm and stimulus for us.

When you reach stability, like ours, you can start choosing your client and your work.”