Beretta 2022 turnover presentation: passed the 310 million mark, now moving toward 2026 and further growth

Only substantial investment in modern machinery ensures competitiveness. Here we can see machine status monitoring through QR codes.

At a crowded press conference held at the Pietro Beretta Arms Factory headquarters in Gardone Val Trompia, Italy, the year 2022 turnover was presented. The financial figures were introduced to the press by Franco Gussalli Beretta assisted by his son Carlo and Engineer Carlo Ferlito, General Manager of Pietro Beretta Arms Factory.

Despite the less than rosy premises, amidst the aftermath of the pandemic, international crises and the uncontrollable rise in energy costs, it was an extremely positive year for Beretta. The conference opened under the hashtag #300 million, which saw sales exceed the 310 million euro mark. "The goal we had this year," explained Franco Gussalli Beretta, "was to exceed the threshold of 300 million; therefore, we created this hashtag on which to converge all the energies, investments and people to achieve it, because on the one hand the most difficult challenges are those of the markets, which were doing well at the time, but having the market demand is not enough. It is critical to make sure that all the new products are launched, that the factory and the suppliers can manufacture them. It's a very complex machine, but this was possible thanks to Engineer Ferlito and his team, who were able to converge all investment and production efforts in this direction.

In his speech, Franco Gussalli Beretta was quick to point out that the excellent results were the result of major investments both in research and development of new products and in the company's production and energy efficiency. Beretta in fact invested a total of 16 million euros in 2022, 9.5 of which were for industrial machinery and 2.5 for digital projects. 

Sports firearms are always the driving force of the business

The BRX1 straight-pull repeater that marked Beretta's entry into the world of rifled-barrel hunting guns was the best seller of 2022, with 15,000 pieces sold.
Beretta's latest addition is the B80X carry pistol in .380 ACP, here in a launch edition with a bronze-finished barrel.

Engineer Ferlito and his team were applauded for their excellent achievement. Spors firearms (shooting and hunting) were confirmed as the driving force for the company in all European markets, which saw a surprising growth for a so-called "mature" market. As much as 21 million euros were grossed on the civilian market in Italy alone, a very satisfactory result that was also driven by the huge success of the BRX1 straight-pull rifle with which Beretta entered the world of rifled-barrel hunting guns in 2022. The BRX1 rifle was received very well by the market and 15,000 pieces were sold, but the demands were far greater, so investment will have to be made to increase the production capacity of this model.

Sales then saw a 50 percent increase in France and Germany. Strongly growing markets include Poland, the Nordic countries, South Africa, and Brazil, where the country's enormous business potential is constrained only by stringent red tape. 

Carlo Ferlito, General Manager of Pietro Beretta Arms Factory.

This market expansion has required an 18 percent increase in manufacturing capacity in the firearms sector alone: it should be recalled that 17 new Beretta products were launched in 2022, from the BRX1 rifle to the Ultraleggero over-and-under hunting shotgun, from the PMXs pistol caliber carbine to the 80X Cheetah carry pistol presented to the public at SHOT Sow in Las Vegas earlier this year. For Beretta, the U.S. remains an attractive market, but Europe has been significantly more important. The accessories sector, which had suffered a lot due to the pandemic, also returned to growth with a 30 percent increase. All this was made possible by investments: 16 million in 2022 and 13 million planned for 2022. Of these investments, 9.5 million have been invested in industrial machinery while 2.5 million are earmarked for digital markets. Other investments are planned for new products and new infrastructure. 

Franco Gussalli Beretta with his son Carlo, representing the 16th generation, at the historic villa in Gardone Val Trompia.

Also very important for Beretta was the acquisition of the RUAG group, which marks Beretta's entry into the ammunition business and goes under the name Ammotec. It includes prestigious brands such as RWS, Norma, GECO and Rottweil, that will be distributed by Beretta in the market. Now Beretta becomes the total partner for the hunting world by being able to supply guns, accessories, clothing, optics and ammo. Responding to a question about how Beretta has prepared for the upcoming ban on lead ammo, Franco Gussalli Beretta explained that one of the reasons Beretta invested in the Ammotec group was precisely to acquire the technologies already strongly developed by the company, including specific patents in the field of “green” ammunition. The revenue delta offered by the transaction could be very significant. Carlo Ferlito added that Beretta has long been calling for scientific and not ideological decisions on lead-free ammunition. With Fondazione Una and with activities in Brussels, much is being done to have a correct approach to the issue. 

Rising energy and raw material costs

Beretta is going to cover even the last square inch of its buildings with photovoltaic panels. 

Unfortunately, 2022 was marked by energy price increases that were impossible to predict and had potentially catastrophic effects: costs went from 2.8 million in 2021 to a record 9.5 million in 2022, with tax reliefs covering only 700,000 euros of the total. Beretta has managed to hold its own thanks by not being caught unprepared. That the company has always been attentive to energy and resource consumption is common knowledge, and we have already talked about it when we covered Beretta's sustainability report, with which the company certifies energy and resource savings data each year, but that is not all.

To encourage ever-increasing energy savings, Beretta has developed the 10X10% project, which is about ten good practices to reduce energy consumption by 10%. It aims to promote conscious and smart behaviors in energy consumption and respect for the environment by deploying10 little habits that, combined with a virtuous long-term path, will allow Beretta to reduce up to 10% annual costs related to energy consumption. The BE Planet concept continues to be a focal point for Beretta. In more practical terms, Beretta is preparing to cover up to the last square meter of roof surface with solar panels, making the company one of the greenest in the country.

Innovation and sustainability go hand in hand 

The inside of Beretta's production department dedicated to surface treatments. One of the many goals is to totally reduce the use of chrome.

In his speech, general manager Carlo Ferlito spoke about the concept of sustainability in general terms but also specifically about the Gardone Val Trompia site, illustrating some new and interesting projects. Innovation Board is an advisory body whose goal is to promote and stimulate new initiatives and collaborations in the field of innovation. Digital remains the backbone of innovation with the Industry 4.0 project involving the increase in the use of data with a holistic approach to production but also continuous and constant personnel training. The cornerstones of this project are technology, training, flexibility and prevention.

For example, a great deal of investment is being made in so-called predictive maintenance: all machine tools will soon be equipped with sensors that enable them to communicate necessary maintenance operations at the actual time of need. This enables surgical-type interventions on machinery with great savings in time and production capacity. The goal is to achieve a true virtual industry through which to run production simulations without having to stop the actual machines.

Among the various innovations was the creation of a digital engraving shop with fully computer-controlled laser systems that complement traditional engraving methods. This innovation included the purchase of a 5-axis laser, a 3D scanner, and specific training for two employees, and allows digitization and in-house creation of fast, flexible and customized laser engravings.

On the marketing side, with the Precision Project the company has renewed its website, with the gun configurator and reserved areas that consolidate the relationship between the company and the end user, also involving gunsmiths in the purchasing process.

Ferlito concluded his speech by addressing the issue of cybersecurity related to the production chain, explaining how the company acts daily to resist breakdowns and cyber attacks of all kinds. 

Welfare according to Beretta

One of the concepts dear to Beretta's management is employee well-being, a concept put into practice in a simple way: those who work for Beretta should be happy, motivated, and rewarded.

Beretta's working environment reflects the company's attention to welfare and respect for the environment, with carefully monitored emissions.

Carlo Gussalli Beretta then illustrated some very interesting data regarding the company's workforce.  Beretta is an increasingly young industry, where 44 percent of employees are millennials, 50 percent are college graduates, and with a female component that accounts for 30 percent of employees working in the office. In 2022 Beretta hired 72 new employees (63 blue-collars and 9 white-collars) and another 52 provided their services on an interim basis.

The Estivini initiative involved 23 young people from local educational institutions who joined the company for summer jobs. In the end, five of them were hired. A new training academy project was also launched, providing educational assistance to 20 female candidates to secure entry into companies in the sector. There are also many sports and team building support initiatives.

Safety and health are always a focus, with a number of initiatives aimed at ensuring the health of employees, safety training courses, and prevention screenings for metabolic and oncological diseases.

On the pure digital side, the company plans pilot projects concerning virtual reality, gaming, and NFT. 

Looking forward to Beretta's first five hundred years

Another moment of the press conference held at the historic Gardone Val Trompia headquarters.

In conclusion, there is optimism, and the strategic plan that has been drawn up will lead the company to celebrate 500 years of history in 2026. Franco Gussalli has no doubts: if there are market downturns, they will be addressed through digital and ecological reconversion.

Industry 4.0 and other initiatives mean that the company is ready for the Company 4.0 challenge while maintaining its focus on hunting (also in collaboration with UNA Foundation), sport shooting, the PB Selection historical sector, and tactical – a sector that includes dynamic shooting competitions. Sport shooting has brought many successes to Gardone Val Trompia, and collaboration with national shooting federations will surely be of even greater value in 2023.

Franco Gussalli concludes, "We have reached 496 years by continuing to invest: the two challenges are the ecological transition and the digital transition. For our 500th anniversary, we will know how to celebrate with a company that will be state-of-the-art, not for personal ambitions but to make it a competitive, environmentally and welfare-conscious company." 

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