Italy’s Azimut-Benetti Group has reported strong growth in China with news that 12 Azimut yachts from 12m-35m (39ft-115ft) were sold in the country during the first four months of the year.

Its current order portfolio now includes models such as the new Azimut 88 and a flagship Azimut Grande 116. The latter will be one of the largest planing yachts ever sold to a Chinese shipowner, says the company.

The brand’s popularity was recently highlighted in China Boating magazine, which listed 10 Azimut yachts among its Top 30 list of luxury yacht brands in the country.

Orders recorded in Asia during the last five months are equivalent to 96 per cent of the company’s total turnover for the previous season, says Azimut, with a 200 per cent growth forecast for the current year.

“These results are the fruit of the group’s commitment in Asia and in China in particular via direct presence on the ground, an office in Shanghai and the strongest and most expert network of dealers (five) designed to cover a market with obvious potential,” says Sebastiano Fanizza, Asia Pacific Area Manager for Azimut Yachts.

Benetti has also strengthened its presence in Asia. In recent months, the company has sold three Benetti megayachts