Keppel Profits Surge 62%

Thursday, July 19, 2001
Ship repair specialist Keppel Hitachi Zosen saw its first-half net profit surge 62.3 percent to $6.57 million versus the same period last year. The Singapore-based firm said it expected to at least maintain its performance in the second half. With the surge in the interim profit, Keppel Hitachi had achieved over 60 percent of analysts' consensus profit forecast for the year of $10.2 million from 16 analysts, according to Multex Global Estimates. Keppel Hitachi, a unit of conglomerate Keppel Corporation, said a strong order book and completion of several conversion and newbuilding jobs boosted its revenue by 70 percent to $175 million. It said the acquisition of Keppel Shipyard Pte Ltd as part of a restructuring exercise also helped lift its revenue. The firm said its overseas yards turned in a mixed performance. Keppel said it managed to secure $68 million conversion/new building contract. In term of operating performance, profit rose 19 percent to $16 million. Looking forward, Keppel said the second half would see the completion of the first of two cable-laying ships, a semi-submersible tender rig, a floating storage and offloading conversion, four tugs and a drilling tender jumboization. It said there had been a pick-up in the ship repair market, but volume and prices were yet to show any major improvement. Keppel said the offshore sector remained buoyant, with many conversion projects in the pipeline. - (Reuters)

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