YARD UPDATE '07: Sessa Marine

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For '07/08 a €75 million target; new C65 Hard Top on its way; and plans for a full range of Sessa Flys… October 2007

Sessa Marine is one Italian yard that is certainly still firmly on the growth trail. It is fast expanding its business on multi-levels. Based in Cividate al Piano, not far from Lago d’Iseo and roughly halfway between Bergamo and Brescia, the company currently boasts a smart 5.2-15.9m (17-52ft) range of 19 power models, a mix of runabouts, sportsboat, sports-fishingboats, sportscruisers, and ‘hard-top express’ cruisers, but various extensions to the line-up are in hand. Sessa classifies them as its 6-11m (20-36ft) Open Line, 7.9-11m (26-36ft) Cruiser Line and 12.8m (42ft) and above Yacht Line.
Sessa Marine’s turnover for ‘06/07 closed at €55 million, which was up an impressive 26 per cent from the €46 million recorded during ‘05/06, and quite a jump beyond the €35 million recorded the year before that one. Moreover, the on-track target for ‘07/08 is €75 million, which will mean another 30 per cent.
The operation is also making money. Its ‘06/07 EBITDA was 11 per cent or €6 million, 20 per cent more than the previous year. Plenty is being reinvested as well; €5 million in ’07 alone.
While the turnover may have been climbing fast, the unit tallies are actually moving in the opposite direction. Sessa Marine’s unit output peaked in ‘00/01 at 1,035 boats, but since the numbers have steadily declined to the current 800 or so mark.

Its ‘06/07 EBITDA was 11 per cent or €6 million, 20 per cent more than the previous year... 

Now exports account for about 70 per cent of the company’s sales, down from 80 per cent the previous year. The drop clearly indicates just how well things are going domestically for the company. Most export orders come from Western Europe, but it has also recently had some successes in a few Eastern European countries and in the Middle East. Currently it has 100 or so dealers in 19 countries, 12 in the EU and seven elsewhere globally. The best international markets are said to be France, Spain, Norway and the UK.
And despite the dollar-euro exchange rate, Sessa Marine has also broken into the US market recently. It now has its own sales office in Dania Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Interestingly, its not just the bigger models that the company is managing to sell to North America. It is shipping models as small as its 28 Key Largo.
Sessa Marine’s Cividate site occupies around 37,000 square-metres (400,000 square-feet), of which 16,000 square-metres (170,000 square-feet) is currently covered. Overall it now employs 300 or so people directly on that site, but there are another 50 employed at a second plant in Roccelletta di Borgia, Southern Italy, which builds some of the Key Largo models and the Ocean line. Moreover, a recent 2,500 square-metres (27,000 square-feet) plant extension there will not only be used for laminating the smaller models produced on the site, but also it will mould hulls for what Sessa Marine intends to be a whole range of new flybridge models. Fit-out of the ‘flys’ will be in Cividate, however. The first one of those is said to be already under development. It will be around the 15m (50ft) mark.
Then for late ‘08/early ‘09 Sessa Marine should unveil the first of its all-new flagship model, the C65, which like the others has been styled inside and out by Christian Grande.
And we can expect to see more and bigger Sessa’s in the years ahead. A recently opened new hall means capacity at Cividate could comfortably be pushed up to around 21.3m (70ft). However, being located well in land, the biggest restriction from that site is delivering by road.
Other recently introduced new models include the Key Largo 26, Key Largo 36, Dorado 36 and C46, which fills in the gap between the C42 and the current flagship C52 model.
Sessa remains a family concern. The president is daughter of the founder, Raffaella Braga Radice, who is supported by her two sons. The vice-president of production/engineering is Massimo Radice, who is also responsible for the design and model-development functions, and the vice-president of sales is Massimo’s brother Riccardo.

© Phil Draper