Shipping Boosts RINA

Thursday, May 22, 2003
Italian classification and certification body RINA recorded an encouraging increase of more than Euro 1m in revenue for the 2002 financial year, with the shipping sector once again emerging as the main contributor. Consolidated Group revenue was up from Euro 93.7m in 2001 to Euro 94.8m in 2002. RINA's traditional core business, the shipping sector, accounted for 64 per cent of total revenue, the same as last year, despite the weakness of the US dollar, which fell by fourteen per cent against the euro during the twelve-month period. Group net profit after extraordinary expenses, and after investment in Research and Development and Information Technology, was slightly down from Euro 1.48m in 2001 to Euro 1.43m, which is seen as a reflection of the slowdown in the international economy during 2002. In the shipping sector, RINA's classed fleet now stands at a total of 16m gross tons. RINA continues to pursue a selective policy based on the progressive acquisition of new ships and the controlled phasing-out of older tonnage, thereby lowering the average age - and raising the overall quality - of the fleet to the highest possible standards. Eighty newbuildings entered RINA class during 2002 as part of an aggregate increase in tonnage totalling 1.5m gt - a fifteen per cent increase in new tonnage when compared with the previous year. Of particular significance was the increase in RINA involvement in newbuildings commissioned in Far East shipyards. The entry into class of a number of new cruiseships and cruise ferries confirms RINA's continuing excellent performance and strong profile in an area of high added value. The certification sector, meanwhile, contributed 21 per cent of total revenues. During the year, RINA achieved its target of certifying 7,000 management companies in compliance with quality management certification schemes, in the process increasing its market share in Italy. The year also saw RINA significantly increase the diversity of areas in which it operates by moving towards integrated forms of certification, including quality, environment, safety and social accountability. The industrial services sector accounted for fifteen per cent of total Group revenues. The most significant factor here was a remarkable growth in activity in the non-Italian market, which in 2002 represented more than 62 per cent of total sector revenue. The year saw a significant increase in RINA's investment in personnel training and in Research and Development initiatives. Overall, more than 40,000 hours were dedicated to R&D, thereby confirming RINA's commitment to the highest standards of quality and safety. Research and development efforts were focused mainly on activities designed to develop products and services to improve the safety and environmental compatibility of ships and on studies relating to the applicability of classification criteria to naval units.

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