Chinese Shipbuilding Group Yangzijiang posted a third quarter net profit of $130 million which is more than a tripling of its profits in the third quarter last year.
The group also managed to exceed its target of $1.5 billion in annual orders.
This caused the share price to hit a six year high at $1.64 and the group to increase its annual target for orders to $2 billion for this year and and $2 billion for next year.
The group expects to construct and deliver up to 50 vessels each this year and the next in spite of increasing steel prices
and the Renminbi appreciating against the dollar. Plans to increase capacity were announced that will allow the builder to attract more value added contracts.
To increase its capacity quickly, the group aims to pursue opportunities for mergers and acquisitions. They are currently in talks with other shipyards in China as well as with European and Asian technology contractors.
Yangzijiang has been aided by the demise of other Chinese shipyards as many face bankcruptcy and the industry gets more and more consolidated into a few large hands.
However, they have many previous M&A deals that have fallen through including their planned investment in Rongsheng Heavy Industries although they did acquire a semi built hull of a tanker being built at that shipyard at the time.
The group also plans to start building LNG
and LPG tankers with an aim to grow that sector to 30% of all its orders. Container ships and bulkers will make up the rest of the orders. With their intention of taking LNG orders, it makes sense that the group has been acquiring technologies for clean-energy shipbuilding.
This change in strategy comes with the expected regulation change that will require a 0.5% limit on sulphur in fuels by 2020. Shipping companies will be forced to use LNG, which burns cleaner, for refuelling and bunkering to meet the regulations pushing up LNG demand and demand for LNG tankers. While many companies may opt to install scrubbers to remove sulphur emissions from exhaust gas
, new builds may still be commissioned due to the large amount of space scrubbers take up on deck.