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Shipbuilding Firm Sails Very Merrily Along
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China Shipbuilding Industry Corp (CSIC), one of the nation's top two shipbuilding groups, has revealed its record 2005 results and even stronger 2006 forecasts, boosted by thriving global demand for vessels.

CSIC General Manager Li Changyin said yesterday in Beijing that the group's shipbuilding tonnage reached 3.15 million last year, up 47 percent from 2004.

Its core-business turnover grew by 20 percent to 48 billion yuan (US$5.93 billion) last year, Li said.

CSIC's 2005 profits exceeded 1 billion yuan (US$123 million), rocketing 85 percent from the year before, he said.

"These figures represented our best performance since CSIC was launched six years ago," he said.

Other CSIC officials said four-fifths of its shipbuilding tonnage last year were for exports as a result of the world's robust vessel market and the group's increasing competitiveness.

Li predicted global demand for ships would remain at high levels, of around 60 million tonnages annually in the years leading up to 2010.

CSIC expects to reap profits of more than 1.5 billion yuan (US$185.1 million) this year with turnover growing to 56 billion yuan (US$6.91 billion), Li said.

He said that the group aimed at a turnover of 80 billion yuan (US$9.87 billion) and profits of 2 billion yuan (US$246 million) by 2010.

China is the world's third biggest shipbuilding country following Japan and South Korea.

Industry statistics showed that China's overall shipbuilding tonnage grew to a record high of more than 12.5 million last year from 8.8 million in 2004.

It held 18 percent of the global shipbuilding market last year, up from 14.3 percent in 2004.

Zhu Rujing, an analyst with the Beijing-based China Shipbuilding Economy Research Centre predicted last month that the nation's shipbuilding tonnage would exceed 15 million this year due to growing shipbuilding capacity and the number of orders received by domestic shipyards.

However, analysts warned of excessive shipbuilding capacity in China from 2008 due to the rapid expansion of domestic shipyards.

Zhu estimated that China's total shipbuilding capacity would grow to more than 30 million tonnages annually by 2010.

CSIC plans to increase its annual shipbuilding capacity to more than 10 million tonnages by 2010.

The shipbuilding tonnage of the nation's other shipbuilding giant, China State Shipbuilding Corp, reached 5.13 million last year.

(China Daily January 13, 2006)

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