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Mitsubishi Heavy Industries predicts smooth sailing

Tokyo: Japan's third-largest shipyard Mitsubishi Heavy Industries aims to more than double earnings from its shipbuilding operations next fiscal year, reports Bloomberg. Operating profit at the Tokyo-based company's shipbuilding and marine business is expected to climb to about 10bn yen ($97.7m) in the financial year starting April 1 from an estimated 4 bn yen this year, Shiro Iijima, managing executive officer in charge of shipbuilding is reported to have said today

Mitsubishi Heavy is hoping to cater to rising demand for vessels from shipping lines to be deployed on routes to and from China. Accordingly, it plans to invest 50bn yen in to upgrade its yard facilities unit by 2010.

The company has also not ruled out the possibility of merging operations with a rival to stave off competition - a move that would increase its market share. It is also considering offering ship-repair services in Vietnam as early as 2010 and will examine the possibility of building new ships in the country to trim costs.  [12/03/08]

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