Sat, Apr 18, 2015 - Page 13 News List

CSBC plans to deliver 16 ships this year, but holds conservative outlook

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

CSBC Corp, Taiwan (CSBC, 台灣國際造船), the nation’s only listed shipbuilder, yesterday said it plans to deliver 16 ships this year, the highest level since the 2008 global financial crisis.

However, the Kaohsiung-based company remains conservative about this year’s business outlook, because its orders are booked at relatively low prices, CSBC chairman Robert Lai (賴杉桂) said yesterday.

Lai made the remarks after the company held an investors’ conference in Taipei, where CSBC said its net profit last year was NT$450.78 million (US$14.47 million), or earnings per share of NT$0.61, up from NT$436.9 million, or earnings per share of NT$0.59, in 2013.

Lai said the global shipbuilding industry has faced many challenging years, as both container and bulk shippers have experienced sluggish demand, but CSBC, which has shipyards in Keelung and Kaohsiung, has seen order visibility extend to the third quarter of 2017, thanks to strong long-term cooperation with its customers.

NEW VESSELS

The company’s orders this year include projects to build vessels from 1,800 to 14,000 twenty-foot-equivalent units (TEU), with 11 new ships to be built in Kaohsiung and five in Keelung, CSBC president Chen Feng-lin (陳豊霖) said.

Next year, CSBC is due to hand over the first 14,000 TEU container vessel it has built to Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp (陽明海運), the nation’s second-largest container shipper, he said.

PRICE REBOUND

Prices of ships have rebounded 8 percent from the first half of last year, Chen said.

However, he said a rebound of 15 percent would be more reasonable, adding that lower global crude oil prices could be one of the factors capping the increase in prices.

Chen said there is still a necessity for the industry to consider new ships, especially mega-vessels, in the face of the uncertain trend of global crude oil prices.

OIL

“Once the global oil price rises again, shippers would have to operate more mega-vessels to lower fuel consumption and unit costs,” Chen said. “It will be too late for them to place orders when oil prices start to rise.”

On Thursday, Yang Ming chairman Frank Lu (盧峰海) said the company is considering placing an order for another five 14,000 TEU vessels, which Chen said may further benefit CSCB.

Consolidated revenue in the first three months of the year totaled NT$5.8 billion, a decline of 19.05 percent from the same period last year, according to a CSBC financial statement.

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