South Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries Group said Thursday its three arms are seeking to secure combined deals worth US$15.9 billion this year in the shipbuilding segment.
The combined target of Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Hyundai Samho Heavy and Hyundai Mipo Dockyard Co. marks a 20.7 percent rise from last year's goal of $13.2 billion. The three players won $13.7 billion worth of deals in 2018.
Hyundai Heavy Industries vowed to win deals worth $8 billion in the shipbuilding segment, followed by Hyundai Samho Heavy and Hyundai Mipo Dockyard with $4.3 billion and $3.5 billion, respectively.
The co-CEOs of Hyundai Heavy Industries said the company will continue making efforts to cut production costs to maintain profitability and return to profit this year.
"As the supply surplus still exists, the number of new orders for ships is limited. Accordingly, we expect hurdles in increasing the cost of ships," the company said in a statement.
Hyundai Heavy Industries added it will seek to cut production costs by adopting the latest technologies to improve productivity, purchasing materials under detailed plans and speeding up construction time.
Hyundai Heavy's smaller local rivals also vowed to win more orders this year.
"We need to spend more for the development of eco-friendly and fuel-efficient ships in order to stay competitive in the future," Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering CEO Jung Sung-leep said in his message to employees.
Nam Jun-u, president of Samsung Heavy Industries Co., stressed the importance of price competitiveness to win more orders going forward.
The two shipyards are expected to unveil their own order targets for the year later this month.
Daewoo Shipbuilding clinched deals valued at $6.81 billion last year, surpassing its annual order goal of $6.6 billion. Samsung Heavy bagged $6.3 billion worth of orders last year, lower than its initial target of $8.2 billion.