2008 produced the best ever results for Aalborg Industries, which manufactures steam boilers, waste heat recovery boilers and heat exchangers for the marine sector. Revenues were up 19% on the previous year to DKK 3.37bn (USD 589m) while EBITDA was up over 17% to DKK 476m (USD 83m), reports financial daily newspaper Børsen.
Børsen writes that despite the flow of new orders being significantly lower in Q1 2009 compared with the same period last year, the company reckons that revenues and earnings will reach the same level as in 2008 thanks to a strong order book.
Aalborg Industries' CEO Jan Vestergaard Olsen sees it as an ambitious target in the current conditions to maintain the 2008 results, the best ever in the firm's history. He is however well aware of the threat that the financial crisis poses to the shipbuilding industry, and its attendant risks of reduced profits in the short term.
But Aalborg Industries also has its eyes on the future, particularly regarding requirements for the global shipping industry to improve its energy efficiency and reduce environmental impact. The company's R&D programme is specially focused on cleantech, with products to lower fuel consumption, reduce CO2 emissions, and remove pollutants like sulphur from marine engine flue gases.
If the global shipping industry is forced by the International Maritime Organisation to clean up its act, and there are plenty of industry observers who think that is likely to happen in the next year or two , then Aalborg Industries will be well-placed to capitalise.