Daewoo Shipbuilding Reports Operating Loss on Offshore Costs

Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., the world’s second-biggest shipbuilder, posted a first-quarter loss after incurring more costs to finish some offshore projects.  

The operating loss was 26.3 billion won ($23 million), it said in a regulatory filing Wednesday, while analysts projected profit of 5.54 billion won, according to the average of seven estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Daewoo Shipbuilding said it couldn’t provide a comparative figure as it is revising earnings dating back to 2013 at the request of its auditor.

The result runs counter to Chief Executive Officer Jung Sung Leep’s projection in March that the shipyard expected to post an operating profit in the first quarter given that most offshore projects in which it had incurred losses would be delivered in 2016. Daewoo Shipbuilding is among global shipyards that were driven to losses last year after a foray into construction of floating drilling and production units coincided with a plunge in oil prices.

Daewoo Shipbuilding dropped 5.6 percent to close at 5,100 won in Seoul Wednesday before the results. Shares of the company have fallen 72 percent in the past 12 months, compared with a 7.3 percent decline in the benchmark Kospi index. The stock was the worst performer on the Kospi 200 Index last year.

Currency Gains

The company’s net income, excluding minority interest, was 9.8 billion won in the three-month period as it benefited from currency movements. First-quarter sales fell 22 percent to 3.53 trillion won. 

“We expect to turn around from the second quarter as sufficient amount of provisions have been made against future uncertainties,” the company said in a separate statement.

Daewoo Shipbuilding is scheduled to deliver seven gas carriers, the most profitable among vessel types, this year, while 16 are expected in 2017 and 18 in 2018.

During the first quarter, the won weakened about 9 percent on average against the dollar from a year earlier, helping increase earnings from currency-hedging contracts when converted to won, the company said.

Oil prices have dropped more than 50 percent in the past two years amid volatility in global markets, abundant U.S. crude supplies and an expectation of increased volumes from Iran. That prompted oil companies, such as Statoil ASA and Royal Dutch Shell Plc, to cut spending and led rig owners to cancel orders or ask for delivery delays.

Brent traded at $45.07 a barrel as of 3:27 p.m. in Singapore Wednesday.

South Korea has urged companies in its shipping and shipbuilding industries to restructure and improve efficiency, and pledged to take more active steps to help them reduce debt and weather the global slump.

The nation is home to the world’s three biggest shipbuilders -- Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Daewoo Shipbuilding and Samsung Heavy Industries Co.

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