Forward Bookings

May 4 (Dow Jones)–Sri Lanka’s Colombo Dockyard Ltd. expects net profit to more than triple this year helped by growth in the company’s shipbuilding division, the company’s chief executive said. “We have already secured a couple of foreign contracts, which will help boost profits,” Mangala Yapa told Dow Jones Newswires in an interview.

¶ He expects net profit to surge to 240 million rupees (2.3 million dollars) in the year ending Dec. 31, 2006, up from 73.2 million rupees in 2005.

Total revenue is likely to climb to 7 billion rupees this year from 6.1 billion rupees last year, Yapa added.

Dockyard’s core operations include shipbuilding and ship repair, which account for more than half its profits. It also has interests in heavy and general engineering.

The company is 50%-owned by Japan’s Omonichi Dockyard Co. and operates four dry docks in the Colombo Port.

Yapa said a contract to build two fisheries protection vessels for the government of the Republic of Maldives and an order from A.A. Turki Corp. based in Saudi Arabia for three tug boats will make up a large portion of this year’s shipbuilding work.

“In the light of diminishing local busin