South Korea's Hyundai Merchant Marine is expected to turnaround its finances during the second half of next year, said the company's Chief Executive Yoo Chang-keun on Tuesday.
"Our business is quickly getting back on track helped by improving business and financial conditions," he said. On Monday, the company reported that its operating loss narrowed to $117 million in the first quarter this year.
On April 7, Hyundai Merchant Marine signed a letter of intent with Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) for the construction of five 300,000 dwt VLCCs with an option of five more vessels. The company currently opeates 12 VLCCs. This deal is the first use of the $2.28 billion New Shipbuilding Program announced by the government last October to support the shipping industry.
Hyundai Merchant Marine also plans to order small to medium sized container ships.
Earlier this year, Yoo said the company is making investments in overseas port operations, like TTI / MSC's facilities in Long Beach and a container terminal in Algeciras, Spain. (Both terminals are former Hanjin Shipping assets.)
Hyundai Merchant Marine has succeeded in restructuring its debt obligations and renegotiating charter terms, and with the support of the Korea Development Bank it has stayed afloat, unlike Hanjin Shipping.