Marine Log

November 7, 2006

Aker Yards rolls out new business model for Cruise & Ferries business area

Aker Yards today placed 150 initiatives before local management and employee representatives in Finland and France as it implemented a new business model to secure long term profitable growth at its Cruise & Ferries business area.

Six months after Chantiers de l'Atlantique was acquired by Aker Yards and integrated in its Cruise & Ferries business area, Aker Yards is presenting the results of an in-depth analysis that it says "will produce a smarter, more productive and innovative way of doing business and combining the best of the long traditions of Finnish and French shipbuilding."

During the last 100 days, 300 people from Finland and France have reviewed and analyzed two ways of shipbuilding in order to improve operations in both countires. During the same period, Aker Yards has been able to secure a record high order book for its Cruise & Ferries business area.

The results of this analysis are some 150 key initiatives that will require three years to be implemented, and after completion could generate cost improvements in the magnitude of Euros 100 million per annum.

Aker Yards says that "focus on core competencies, sharing of best practicies and resources accross the organization, new sourcing strategy and simplification of the organization" are the key words of the new strategy,

Aker Yards says that the new initiatives, together with a record high order book, will create some 260 new jobs at its yards in Finland. In France, due to the adjusted business model and the increasing work load, it is estimated that some 2,000 new jobs will be created in the maritime cluster in the Saint Nazaire area. Out of these 2,000 new jobs 640 will be created at the shipyard itself, mainly for outfitting coordination and steel production positions.

On the other side of the coin, It is estimated that some 240 French employees (mainly white collar) will need to change jobs within the next three years. Aker Yards says it will provide them with training and support to make the switch.

The EUR 5.5 billion orderbook of Aker Yards business area Cruise & Ferries consists of 18 newbuildings: The world`s three largest cruise vessels for Royal Caribbean, two new type large cruise vessels for NCL, four luxury cruise vessels for MSC Cruises, a cruise vessel and two fast day ferries for Color Line, a cruise ferry and a fast passenger ferry for Tallink, a ropax and a passenger ferry for Brittany Ferries, a fast passenger/car ferry for Viking Line and a small ropax for Morbihan county. In addition, there are four options; with RCCL, MSC, NCL and Color Line.