Aker YardsÆ 4th quarter profit up 27%
Norway's Aker Yards ASA, Europe's largest shipbuilder, reported a fourth quarter net profit of NKr486 million ($79.3 million), a 27 percent increase compared with the same quarter in 2005.
Aker's quarterly revenue rose 60 percent to NKr7.8 billion ($1.27 billion).
For the year, the Oslo-based company posted a net profit of NKr1.04 billion ($169.1 million), up 34 percent over 2005 on a revenue gain of 56 percent to NKr25.9 billion ($4.22 billion).
In the United States, Aker has developed a high profile for reviving a long-dormant navy shipyard in Philadelphia, where it is building a series of 46,000 dwt product tankers for Overseas Shipholding Group for use in coastal trading.
Earlier this month, the companies announced an agreement, which would increase the number of product tankers Aker is building for OSG from 10 to 16. Under the agreement worked out by the companies, the tankers are built by Aker then transferred to a sister company, American Shipping Corp., which in turn, bareboat charters them to subsidiaries of OSG for initial terms of 10 to 15 years.
Also this month, Aker and its union, the Philadelphia Metal Trades Council, reached a new labor contract that runs through Jan. 31, 2011.
However, the union and Aker remain at odds over the amount of foreign-made components being used in the construction of the tankers. U.S. law requires ships in the coastal trade be built in the United States.
The union has filed a lawsuit in district court against the U.S. Coast Guard saying its interpretation of regulations is allowing Aker to use too many foreign components in the construction of the ships.