Vinalines sets sail for $1 billion in 2008
The Viet Nam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines) is targeting VND17 trillion (US$1 billion) in earnings this year, a year-on-year increase of 16 per cent, the corporation announced last week.
Profit this year is projected at VND950 billion ($60 million), a 10 per cent increase over last year. The corporation plans to diversify and restructure to further mobilise capital for the construction of two major projects in Khanh Hoa Province. Smaller projects in Hai Phong, Quang Ninh and Ba Ria-Vung Tau will also be carried out.
Vinalines spent a staggering $630 million on 30 new ships last year, a record for the corporation.
Despite the substantial cost involved, Vinalines will buy and build new ships so that the total dead-weight-tonne of its fleet reaches 2.6 million by year-end.
While poor weather and a 30-50 per cent increase in the final price of ships were considered Vinalines biggest hurdles in 2007, other factors are predicted to help the corporation realise this year's goals.
According to a recent Vinalines report, strong economic growth in Southeast Asia coupled with high demand from China and India present favourable conditions for shipping firms.
Last year, Vinalines earned VND14.64 trillion while posting a profit of VND861 billion, respective gains of 26 and 51 per cent over 2006. Such impressive results saw Vinalines contribute VND777 billion to the State budget last year.