Sako Finland is today part of the Beretta Holding Group. Controlled by the BERETTA family, the group encompasses key manufacturers of field and competition firearms and optics, as well as trading and distribution companies in Italy and abroad, with a total work force of 2,630 employees and an annual turnover of 420 million Euro. The oldest among them, Fabbrica d’Armi Pietro Beretta S.p.A. (Pietro Beretta arms manufacturing company), which has been handed down over fifteen generations, was active in the village of Gardone Val Trompia in the fifteenth century. Documentary evidence for the family business dates back to 1526.
Almost 500 years of working activity have enriched Beretta with enormous experience and knowledge in precision mechanics in the field of portable firearms. From the turn of the 20th century up to today Beretta’s production facilities have grown from 10,000 to over 76,000 square meters. The production departments feature fully automated work centres and of course highly qualified craftsmen, a prerequisite for achieving the desired degree of accuracy and standard of quality. The design department has advanced systems for carrying out stress analysis using the finite elements method. The laboratories are equipped to carry out research into dynamics with a high stress variation rate applied to the ammunition-firearm system, metallographic tests and fatigue tests. Production and Design work together with Marketing and Sales to develop new products and meet the customers’ changing requirements.
In the early 1990s, Beretta added to its traditional sporting guns production, a complete range of accessories and apparel for hunting, clay shooting and outdoor sports which rapidly earned a reputation for its technological content and understated elegance. The first Beretta Gallery was inaugurated in New York in 1995, followed in quick succession by ones in Dallas, Buenos Aires, Paris and Milan. In December 2005 a new Beretta Gallery in the centre of London was opened. The Beretta Clothing & Accessories line is sold in leading gun shops in Europe and America, and also through the Shop in Shop chain, specialized outlets designed specifically to accommodate exclusive areas selling Beretta products. In 2006 the 90 Beretta Shop in Shops worldwide are flanked by over 750 sales outlets with corners and display areas featuring Beretta products. The 2006 turnover of the Beretta Clothing & Accessories division topped 26 million Euro.
Beretta supplies firearms to the Armed Forces and Police Forces of Italy and numerous other countries since many years. Recently (April 2007) a contract to supply the pistol model Px4 Storm to the Canada Borders Services Agency was signed. The greatest success story regarding pistols is the fact that the American Armed Forces and State Police Forces have adopted Beretta 92 series pistols. France’s Gendarmerie Nationale and the “Armée de l’Air” (French Air Force) have also opted for this solution.
Beretta’s success in the defence and law enforcement realms is matched by success in the competitive shooting sports. Beretta won its first Olympic Gold medal in clay pigeon shooting in Melbourne, in 1956. Since then Beretta victories in major international competitions have followed with frequency. Beretta competition shotguns have won more Olympic Games, World Championships and International Competitions than any other shotgun.
Dedicated work, inventiveness, traditional methods, focus on both customers and craftsmen, as well as ongoing research, technological improvement and state-of-the-art manufacturing methods form the basis on which Beretta has built up its image and a vast range of field, competition and military firearms that have brought the company worldwide fame as the oldest gun manufacturer, set up as long ago as 1526.
President, Ugo Gussalli Beretta and his sons, Pietro and Franco, now run the business.