Changes at the top of Marazzi Group, design, manufacturing and sale of ceramic and porcelain stoneware flooring and wall tiles. The Board of Directors of the Company has appointed Andrea Sasso, 47, formerly Managing Director of Elica SpA, as new Managing Director of the Marazzi Group.

At the same time Filippo Marazzi,  major shareholder  and President of  the Group delisted in 2008 along with Permira Funds and Private Equity Partners, will remain a valuable point of reference and strategic guidance.

Maurizio Piglione, after successfully completed his task to reorganize and revitalize the Group in a complex market situation, has resigned as CEO of the company, a position he has held  since 2009, ready for new professional challenges.

The appointment of Sasso, in fact, follows the wake of  Piglione’s good work and is part of a consistent path of management growth that the company has been following for several years,  which has allowed the Group to continue to improve its economic and financial results.

Sasso’s previous experience includes the Merloni Elettrodomestici Group / Indesit Company – where from 1990 he held positions of increasing responsibility, eventually being appointed Chief Operating Officer and Chief Commercial Officer – and later Pirelli Tyre, where he served as Country Manager for Italy.

He graduated in Economics and Commerce from the Università Politecnica delle Marche, International Executive Program at Insead (Fontainebleau and Singapore), and is a member of the Young Presidents' Organization and a member of the Board of Directors of Elica and of iGuzzini Illuminazione. Following his resignation from Elica, he has recently left the position of an ordinary member of the World Class Manufacturing Association and president of Confindustria Ceced Italia.

According to Filippo Marazzi “ Despite the crisis that has hit our industry and the economy in general, our Group has been able to grow and to succeed on the international markets by focusing on  quality, innovation and education. We deserve Maurizio Piglione our sincere thanks for the work he has done over these years and we wish him  to continue  brilliantly his career through new managerial challenges”.

“Andrea Sasso – continues Marazzi -  has been appointed to head the further development of the Group. Having successfully repositioned its product in the medium-high segment of the market and upgraded its European manufacturing footprint, the challenge now is to take full advantage of growth opportunities in the European markets, while continuing our exceptional growth in the Russian and US markets. With Sasso we have a manager of extensive experience and proven ability who will be able to take on this challenge and build on this foundation and ensure continued growth.

 “Marazzi is not only the most widely known brand in the ceramic industry”, says new MD Sasso, “but it is also a multinational company that has always stood for Italian industrial excellence in the areas of style, design and the spirit of innovation. That is why I am proud and eager to join the Group, fully aware of its history and convinced that world markets offer enormous opportunities for further growth.”

On the 17th September, Marazzi Group approved the financial statements for the first half of 2012, which showed further increases in share in every market and in results in terms of revenues and profitability: consolidated turnover for the half-year amounted to Euro 428 million (up by 2.5%) and EBITDA rose to Euro 69 million (+6.2%). These positive results stem primarily from the company’s strong growth in Russia (+18%) and the USA (+15%), reflecting the success of the strategy of continued internationalization pursued for some time by the company, which now derives 80% of its EBITDA from outside Italy.