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Hyundai Heavy Industries misses 2008 sales goal

Hyundai Heavy Industries misses 2008 sales goal

Seoul: Hyundai Heavy Industries has revealed that it failed to meet its target for new orders in 2008 as the global recession sapped demand for vessels, writes Bloomberg. New orders for ships, marine engines, offshore platforms and other products probably rose 13% to $28.2bn, falling short of the $29.4bn target, the Ulsan, Korea-based company said in a regulatory filing on Wednesday.

The worst global financial crisis since the Great Depression has caused funds to dry up, making it difficult for shipping lines to arrange loans for new vessels and pay for the ones they've ordered.

The meltdown has prompted trade to slump, with the World Bank projecting the first decline in almost 30 years.

"Next year [2009], business uncertainty will be greater and profitability and cash earnings will worsen," Hyundai Heavy's vice chairman and ceo Min Keh-sik said in a year-end speech to employees on Wednesday, a copy of which was e-mailed by the company to reporters.

Hyundai Heavy had no orders for new vessels for three months since October as demand for iron ore and consumer goods plunged. Sales will probably climb 26% to a record 19.6 trillion won ($16bn) as more vessels are built at higher prices, exceeding its target of 18.1 trillion won, Hyundai Heavy said in the filing.

The company delivered a record 102 vessels last year, 28% more than in 2007 as it worked through almost four years of order backlog. The yard expects to hand over 119 vessels to shipowners in 2009, it said.  [02/01/09]