The newbuilding order intake of South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) has taken a plunge as the shipbuilder recorded 27.5 pct dip in new orders in 2014 when compared to last year’s figures.
The company’s orderbook ending with December 2014 amounted to USD 19.8 billion, around USD 8 billion lower from 2013, when it totaled in 27.3 billion.
HHI’s overall shipbuilding business activity decreased by 34.9 pct when compared to the same period last year.
Faced with losses amid firece competition from Chinese counterparts, the South Korean shipbuilder has already undertaken restructuring measures which saw HHI lay off 81 out of 262 executives, cutting its number of executive by 31 percent.
As a way of cutting back on expenses the company said it was considering closing unprofitable business branches such as those engaged in renewables.
The company faced the first strike in two decades last November as unionized workers urged for sorting out of wage and benefit issues.
At the beginning of January, workers at HHI voted down a tentative wage agreement proposed by the shipbuilding conglomerate thus further prolonging talks between the two parties.
The workers had called for 132,000 won pay raise, and at least 250 percent of the base salary as performance-based benefits. HHI responded to demands with an offer of 37,000 won salary increase, arguing the demands were unrealistic seeing that the company was experiencing losses.
World Maritime News Staff