Vertu eyes China

Luxury phone brand Vertu says its new Hong Kong investor will allow the brand to embark on its next growth phase – into Mainland China.

Vertu will continue to operate its global business from its UK Headquarters with new partner, Godin Holdings, a Hong Kong based company backed by a group of international investors. This move will support accelerated growth for Vertu and maximise its ‘Luxury Tech’ market leadership position.

Since shipping its first phone in 2002, Vertu had sold around 450,000 devices worldwide, with an average selling price of around £5000 per handset last year.

“Godin brings with it a significant understanding of the world’s fastest developing luxury market, China, as well as an ability to help with the technical development of a future range of industry leading Vertu products,” the company said in a statement.

Vertu runs 70 of its own boutique retail stores and is sold through 430 partner stores in 66 countries. It is not yet clear if the brand will expand in China through its own store network of partner with an existing retailer.

The new investment has led to a management shakeup with CEO Massimiliano Pogliani stepping down after three years

As part of the new investment, a number of changes have taken place within Vertu’s management, replaced by Billy Crotty. Justine Rouch, COO and Davide Vassena, VP product and marketing, have both also left the company.

Crotty says the company has a clear vision for the next phase of its growth.

“Vertu is regarded as the clear leader in the luxury mobile category; a company with a strong USP, brand equity, product roadmap and established retail network; the ‘Handmade in England’ aspect of Vertu is appreciated globally as a particularly valuable, fundamental brand strength.

“Godin Holdings’ investment will allow Vertu to maintain its leadership position within the luxury technology industry and to expand its already world class product portfolio.

“Mainland China is a key market for Vertu, alongside its other pan-Asian and European business. All in all, the Godin team are perfectly placed to offer both investment into the company, as well as mobile technology industry expertise and contacts. Godin believes that significant growth opportunities lie ahead for Vertu, within specific markets as well as through new product developments.”

A key part of Vertu’s future is the launch of Vertu Club, explains Crotty.

“Vertu Club will be the umbrella for the evolution of our on-device and off-device services. Our aim is to ramp up the already very close relationship we enjoy with our customers through Concierge, Life and Certainty apps, in order that it can inform, to an ever increasing degree, not only the portfolio of services we offer, but the manner in which we do so, in order that we create a world class personal service, unattainable in any other format than that which can be achieved by being a member of the Vertu Club.”

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