Fleet Plans

Aug 21, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Mercantile Shipping Company said it expects delivery of the first of two new cargo ships on order by the middle of next year as construction is slightly ahead of schedule. The company said it made good profits in the last financial year but that cash flow would be tight this year as funds would be tied up in the new buildings projects.

Net profit rose almost 83 percent to 106 million rupees from 58 million rupees in the year ended March 31, 2008 while revenue increased 18.3 percent to 671 million rupees from 567 million rupees.

Mercantile Shipping Company is acquiring the two new cargo ships as part of efforts to renew its fleet.

Construction of the two multi-purpose vessels, each of 7,800 tonnes deadweight, has started with the hulls being built by a ship yard in the Ukraine.

The completed hulls will be towed to the Bodewes Shipyard in The Netherlands where the final installation will take place.

“The construction process is a little bit ahead of schedule and the first vessel is expected to be delivered by the middle of next year, the second by end of 2009,” chairman A N U Jayawardena told shareholders in the firm’s annual report.

The ships