Costa places $1bn cruiseship order
John McLaughlin, 19 October 2007 Lloyds List
COSTA Crociere has placed orders for two more 114,200-ton cruiseships with Italian state-owned shipbuilder Fincantieri. The Carnival-owned cruise line will pay €510m ($729m) per ship for a total cost in excess of €1bn.
The vessels, sister ships of the Costa Concordia and the recently launched Costa Serena, will be built at Fincantieri’s Marghera yard in Venice, and are due for delivery in 2011-2012.
A fifth sister for the two vessels, the Costa Pacifica, is currently under construction at Sestri Ponente.
The latest move takes Costa Crociere’s complement of orders at Fincantieri to five, and will boost its fleet to 17 ships upon delivery. They will also add 20% to Costa’s fleet capacity based on double occupancy, taking it 36,700 guests. The new ships will have capacity for 3,780 passengers if all upper berths are included, or 3,012 based on double occupancy. They will also have 17 more balcony cabins than their older sisters, and 1,506 cabins in all.
Costa chief executive Pier Luigi Foschi described the orders as a response to increasing international demand and to the company’s desire to reinforce its market leadership in
The orders also come at a useful time, with Fincantieri gearing up for an anticipated initial public offering early next year. There remains some disgruntlement both in the unions and within the ruling centre-left coalition over the proposed sale of a minority share of the company.
These new orders may buttress their argument that all is relatively well at Fincantieri, and that it has the resources to invest for the future without needing to turn to the stock market. Raising funds to modernise existing yards and push through a diversification strategy is the prime rationale for the share sale. At the same time, the IPO still looks more likely than not and a bulging order book will do Fincantieri no harm in the coming debate on the initial share price.
“This agreement means that, over the course of the last year, we have gained in the cruise sector alone orders for 12 ships, of which two options, for a total value of over €5bn,” said chief executive Giuseppe Bono.
Fincantieri’s total orderbook now runs to 18 ships. Carnival orders aside, it has also picked up orders this year for two vessels from
The move comes at a time when Fincantieri is looking to hold down costs in the face of surging raw materials and energy prices. Helping its suppliers and subcontractors to do the same at a time of tightening credit is one battle in that wider struggle.
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