Record-orders boost shipyards turnover

The top six shipyards locally posted business totalling 216 million euros last year, while total turnover amounted to 92.1 mln euros in 2006.
According to the President of Ship Builders National Association (ANCN), Gelu Stan, orders reached a record-high in 2005-2007 globally.
„In 2 years, ships able to replace 25% of the existing fleet worldwide were ordered, or 5 times more compared to usual orders per year,” he said.
The engines of this industry were the two units controlled by international giant Aker Yards – Aker Braila, with turnover close to 80 mln euros, more than double on 2006, and Aker Tulcea, which registered a 150% annual growth, up to 60.2 mln euros.
However, Stan does not expect similar orders this year, so shipyards could register „zero growth” because of higher prices for raw materials and low labor productivity. Due to a lack of the specialized staff who went to work abroad, labor efficiency in the shipyards dropped by almost a third, with direct effects upon production, underlined Anconav official.

Furthermore, the boost in orders and turnover did not lead to higher profits. Half of the companies in this sector showed losses in 2007, even though a year ago they reported net profits, show the data reported to the Ministry of Economy and Finance.
Although last year it doubled the turnover, Aker Braila’s losses for instance increased 8 times year-on-year, to some 16 million euros.
In its turn, in 2007 Aker Tulcea’s profit amounted to 1.4 mln euros, or half of 2006 earnings.
According to Bucharest’s daily, Damen Galati also closed 2007 with losses worth 0.2 mln euros, compared to 2.6 mln euros in profits in 2006. „Who did not use hedging to protect against national currency depreciation against the euro lost. We, at Damen, did not use hedging in 2007, but we are using it this year,” said Stan, who is also General Manager of the Galati-based shipyard.
He pointed out that this year many ship builders took the decision to use hedging, but this protection measure will not be sufficient. The exodus of personnel and lack of qualified workers continued to create big problems in 2008 as well and, most likely, are to be the main reason why the financial results in 2008 will not be measurable to the industry advance.
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