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Vard diversifies after it slumps into the red in 2015

Vard diversifies after it slumps into the red in 2015
Offshore shipbuilder Vard is diversifying into new areas to try and ride out the industry downturn as it reports a NOK1.29bn ($148.5m) net loss for 2015.

The NOK1.29bn net loss for 2015 compared to a NOK50m profit in 2014. The company said its 2015 result had been hit by NOK474m in exchange rate losses of which NOK380m were unrealised.

Vard’s revenues dropped 14% in 2015 to NOK11.14bn which was mainly due to decreased activities at its European yards. With slowdown in activity Vard was hit NOK77m in restructuring costs in 2015 including severance pay for lay-offs with the yard group reducing its staff Norway by 8% and by 27% in Romania.

To ride out the slump in offshore markets Vard plans to diversify specialized vessels in the offshore wind and aquaculture markets. It also plans increase its focus on the Middle East where there is a demand for OSCVs and other specialised vessels.

It also plans to leverage off the skills of its parent Fincantieri to enter the cruise shipbuilding sector. “Combining in-house expertise and synergies with its parent group, Fincantieri, Vard sees opportunities in the segment of small and specialty cruise vessels such as exploration cruise ships, as well as in the market for Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV),” it said.

Vard also intends to build sections of cruise ship hulls for its parent at Vard Tulcea. “The group’s efforts to diversify are well underway, and we believe that we are on the right track to recovery,” said Roy Riete, ceo and executive director of Vard.