Rome

State shipbuilder fincantieri first semester profits up 62%

Wins contract to build state-of-the-art ferry for quebec

State shipbuilder fincantieri first semester profits up 62%

(ANSA) - Rome, July 30 - Italy's state-owned ship builder Fincantieri saw first-semester profits rise 62.5% over the same period in 2011, to 26 million euros from 16 million euros on June 30, 2011. Profits are still just a sliver of total revenues, which amounted to 1.233 billion euros over the first six months, up 4.8% over the same period last year. But Fincantieri's net financial position more than quintupled from January to June, rising from 166 million euros at the end of 2011 to 909 million euros at the end of June. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 15.2% to 68 million euros as of June 30. "The ongoing reorganization process, initiated thanks to an agreement with the unions and the government, it proving its worth," Fincantieri CFO Giuseppe Bono said in a statement. Bono said the shipbuilding trade suffered severely in the first half of this year, though, with widespread economic uncertainty. While the company acquired just 488 million euros worth of new orders in the first half of 2012 - roughly half of the 874 million euros worth of contracts signed in the same period of 2011. That left Fincantieri with 7.069 billion euros worth of orders in the pipeline, down from 7.92 billion at June 30. But Fincantieri finalized a number of major shipbuilding contracts this month, after the close of the first semester balance sheet. Fincantieri will be building two, small luxury cruise ships for Viking Ocean Cruises, and a state-of-the-art ferry for Societe des Traversiers du Quebec in Canada. Fincantieri did not disclose the value of the contract with Viking, but said the two super luxury ships, to be delivered in 2015 and 2016, would have a total of 472 cabins and passenger capacity of 944. The new, latest-generation ferry for the transport company STQ is worth 148 million Canadian dollars, and is to be delivered in late 2014. The new ferry will be advanced in terms of energy savings, low environmental impact and high maneuverability.

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