The Azimut-Benetti Group is reporting a 20 per cent gain in year-over-year sales since January 1, 2010. The Italian conglomerate said in a statement that production has resumed “at full capacity” at its manufacturing facilities.

“We are witnessing a reversal in trends and, although we must necessarily be cautious, we are optimistic that the worst is over for Azimut-Benetti,” said Paolo Vitelli, chairman, in the statement.

As of March 30, 2010, the Group had orders that would meet about 90 per cent of its fiscal year budget. The number of orders is about 50 per cent higher than this time last year. “This translates into approximately 250 yachts sold, as against just over 150 in the same period last year,” said Vitelli.

The Azimut-Benetti Group weathered the recession by using a multifold strategy, according to the statement. It increased efficiency by focusing production at its own sites. A government “wages guarantee fund” allowed Azimut-Bentti to train and requalify employees in-house rather than rely on third-party sources. Vitelli said his brands also invested more than