With Sanlonrezo publishing its approved financial statements for 2020, we explore the positive performance of Italian superyacht manufacturer and consider what this means for the wider superyacht market in line with trends discovered throughout the COVID-19 environment.

“2020 was an unprecedented year for all of us. It was exactly in this extraordinary year that Sanlorenzo has proven – once again – its ability to meet the most difficult challenges: its resilience,” explains Massimo Perotti, Sanlorenzo’s chairman and CEO. “We kept our promises, with all the figures growing beyond expectations. This allowed us to distribute a dividend, thus keeping faith in the policy adopted in 2019, in view of the IPO.

“Among all the positive data, it is worth mentioning the investments made to expand the product ranges, also in new segments, which fostered a very promising start of 2021, with a backlog in progressive and constant growth, whose amount at the end of March was higher compared to the 2020 figure.”

One of the key terms used by Perotti is ‘resilience’. When the scale of the pandemic first became clear, people’s minds understandably shifted towards force majeure claims, cancelled contracts and widespread concern for the market’s overall performance. While the new build market’s performance in 2020 was undeniably poorer than had previously been expected, it is fair to say that the market proved to be more resilient than many had given it credit for, that being said not all shipyards performed as strongly as Sanlorenzo.

According to The Superyacht Intelligence Agency, Sanlonrenzo delivered 20 30m-plus superyacht projects in 2020, which represents the shipyards most prolific year to date in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, and with 22 deliveries scheduled in 2021 and a further 32 scheduled in 2022, the Italian outfit is seemingly going from strength to strength. Sanlorenzo’s strong performance has further been highlighted by its financial results.

Net revenues from the sale of new yachts (Net Revenues New Yachts) amounted to €457.7 million, up by 0.4 per cent compared to €455.9 million in 2019. What is perhaps most telling about this figure is that it highlights that 2020 was not simply a year for delivering projects that had already been paid for in the pre-pandemic world. For businesses with the right proposition 2020 also proved to be a strong year for developing new business.

Anecdotally, the superyacht market has discussed at length the notion that UHNWIs are more eager than ever to engage with the superyacht lifestyle given the relative lack of freedom they have experienced over the last 12 months. While this has been proved by excellent figures in the brokerage sector, which saw 18 per cent more 24m-plus yachts sold in 2020 than in 2019, it has not necessarily been proven within the new build arena. In fact, a Fraser report published in February of this year highlighted that new contracts for new build projects had fallen dramatically in 2020, suggesting that Sanlorenzo is significantly outperforming much of the market.

In addition to an increase in New Revenues New Yachts, Sanlorenzo’s EBITDA has grown by 7.0 per cent to €70.6m compared to €66m in 2019 and group net profit has grown by 27.7 per cent to €34.5m compared to 27m in 2018. 

Much has been made in recent years about the growing propensity for superyacht buyers to elect to build with shipyards that they consider to have strong financial backing and proven delivery history. Sanlorenzo’s 2020 figures further cement this notion.

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