Repair Returns

May 28, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan ship builder Colombo Dockyard said net profit for the March 2009 quarter shot up 112 percent to 519 million rupees from 245 million rupees a year ago. A platform support vessel for the same Indian customer – the first of an order of four – is now under construction.

However, analysts say Colombo Dockyard’s repair and ship building work is likely to slow down this year given the global recession and sharp downturn in the shipping industry.

With vessel hire and freight rates having crashed and an oversupply of tonnage, many owners are struggling to survive and new ships are heading straight from yards worldwide to lay-up. Revenue was virtually stagnant, up just one percent to three billion rupees in the three months ended March 31, 2009, the company said in a stock exchange filing.

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Company officials said the profits came mainly from repair work which kept its docks busy and which yield higher margins than new buildings.

“In the first quarter we were quite busy on the ship repair sides, including work on dredgers,” an o