(Bloomberg) -- Italian yacht maker Sanlorenzo SpA has seen rising demand from wealthy customers, including many first-time luxury boat buyers, as the Covid-19 pandemic eases.

The Ameglia, Italy-based yacht builder expects “double-digit” growth in revenue for 2022 and 2023, Chief Executive Officer Massimo Perotti said in an interview. 

The company last month reported an increase of about 43% in first-half revenue from the sale of new yachts and raised its forecasts for this year, supported by a backlog that reached 1.01 billion euros ($1.2 billion) at the end of August, before the opening of the boat show season. The stock has more than doubled so far this year.

Perotti also said in the interview:

  • 2021 will be an “extraordinary year,” given a “bulging” order book
  • Asia Pacific and the U.S. started recovering earlier in the year and “the latest data show that the European market is now rebounding”
  • The U.S. is “by far the first market globally for yachts” and will continue to be a growth driver
  • Sanlorenzo is still interested in the potential acquisition of Perini Navi “but only at the right price” and deems a valuation of around 48 million euros as “too high considering the investments needed”
  • “A green approach will be the most important trend in yachting in the coming years,” the CEO said. “I believe the industry’s future is hydrogen”
  • NOTE, Sept. 6: Sanlorenzo is teaming up with Siemens Energy to develop a methanol fuel cell system, using hydrogen to generate electricity on board for yachts. The companies are also working on new generation diesel-electric and hybrid propulsion systems to reduce emissions and fuel consumption. 

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