SEOUL, Feb. 09 (Aju News) -- Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world's largest shipbuilder, barely managed to stay in the black last year thanks to a painful process of slimming down its bloated structure to head off a protracted slump.
Hyundai Heavy said in a regulatory filing on Friday that sales were tentatively estimated at 15.4 trillion won (14.2 billion US dollars) in 2017, down 31 percent from a year ago. Operating profit fell 96 percent on-year to 14.6 billion won.
The shipbuilder said last year's total orders stood at $9.9 billion for 148 ships, exceeding the annual goal of $7.5 billion for 100 ships. The company said its debt rate was reduced from 114 percent in 2016 to 89.9 percent, helped by aggressive restructuring.
This year, Hyundai Heavy predicted a slight recovery in its business, citing growing demands for gas-fuelled ships. In a desperate attempt to reduce its debt, Hyundai Heavy separated Hyundai Robotics as the holding company for non-shipbuilding units. Hyundai Heavy now focuses on shipbuilding, offshore drilling, and engine making in the southeastern industrial city of Ulsan.
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