Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri has announced positive end results for the first half (H1) of 2018, with adjusted profit increasing by 39% to €39m and a 10% growth in revenues to €2.5bn.

The company said profit for the first semester of the year went up by €4m compared to the same period last year to reach €15m, despite paying €32m in extraordinary charges, largely due to provisions for asbestos-related litigations.

Earnings before taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITA) grew by 25% to €183m as the EBITA margin reached 7.3% from 6.3%.

Fincantieri chief executive officer said Giuseppe Bono: “Revenues, profits and margins are increasing  compared to last year and will witness a further improvement in the second half of the year, confirming the business plan guidelines.”

The shipbuilder’s backlog also soared in the final weeks of H1. The company’s order portfolio reached 109 vessels in July this year, an increase on 99 ships in June, and has now exceeded a record €32bn.

Bono commented: “Standing already at a record level at the end of the first half, with the new orders acquired during July our backlog now exceeds €32bn and testifies our ability to build and deliver on time high value added products.”

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According to Bono, Fincantieri’s total backlog, which features scheduled deliveries until 2026, will help give the company “visibility for the years to come and allows to ensure workload for all its Italian yards and to consolidate its global leadership.

“These orders will ensure workload for all the Italian shipyards in the coming years; in 2018 alone, we will deploy 15 millions of production hours, giving a fundamental contribution to the country’s exportations.”

In July, Fincantieri secured a new customer, Tui Cruises, with an order for two new-concept, LNG-powered cruise ships. The company also received an order for two Project Leonardo ships for Norwegian Cruise Line and signed a memorandum of agreement with Princess Cruises for two new-generation, 175,000gt LNG-fuelled ships, the largest ever built in Italy.

The shipbuilder also signed a share purchase agreement for the acquisition of 50% of the share capital of STX France for €59.7m. The deal is part of a broader collaboration on shipbuilding between Italy and France in a bid to consolidate relations in the European shipbuilding industry.