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Covid-19: Fincantieri extends production pause

Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri, which suspended production in its home country for two weeks in March due to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), has extended the stoppage into April.

Fincantieri’s Muggiano naval shipyard in Italy. (Fincantieri)

Fincantieri’s Muggiano naval shipyard in Italy. (Fincantieri)

To protect its employees and subcontractors, Fincantieri ceased production in Italy on 16 March, including at naval shipyards Muggiano and Riva Trigoso. Although the company was planning to resume operations on 30 March, it has continued the production pause because Covid-19 remains a deadly threat in Italy.

“We are actively organising to efficiently resume the operation when the time is right,” Fincantieri CEO Giuseppe Bono told analysts on 2 April while discussing the company’s 2019 financial results.

Meanwhile, with its cruise shipbuilding business facing a potentially long road to recovery due to Covid-19 outbreaks on several passenger vessels, Fincantieri is “doubling our efforts to effectively secure new opportunities in the naval business”, said Giuseppe Dado, the company’s chief financial officer. It is also looking to diversify into such areas as electronics and infrastructure.

Fincantieri announced on 1 April that revenue in its naval vessels business area grew 4.8% to EUR1.5 billion (USD1.6 billion) in 2019, fuelled by activity for the Italian Navy and the Qatari Ministry of Defence and in US subsidiary Fincantieri Marine Group. The business area accounted for 23% of the company’s total revenue.

For all of Fincantieri, revenue rose 8% to a record high of EUR5.8 billion in 2019. But due to a “negative performance” in Vard, a Norwegian subsidiary that builds vessels for the oil and gas industry, the company suffered a loss of EUR148 million last year, compared with a profit of EUR69 million in 2018. Fincantieri is restructuring Vard to spur a recovery.

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