Engine manufacturer Wärtsilä reported an increase in orders in the first half of 2022, despite market and business challenges
Håkan Agnevall, Wärtsilä President & CEO, said: “The second quarter of 2022 was characterised by uncertainty in the global business environment over economic development. The sanctions on Russia, supply chain bottlenecks, cost inflation, and Covid-19 related lockdowns in China have put the global economy under pressure and caused challenges in our business as well. However, while the market was challenging, we were able to grow our order intake.”
Order intake in the first half was 18% up on-year at EUR2.8bn, with service order intake up 20% to EUR1.5bn.
The group recorded a pre-tax loss of EUR74m for the first six months of 2022, dragged into the red by impairments of EUR200m related to the company’s withdrawal from Russia.
Net sales of EUR2.6bn were up 27% on-year and split equally between equipment and services sales.
Wärtsilä said that market continued to show strong demand for tonnage, supported by trade growth, port congestion and post-pandemic recovery. Negative indicators complicated the shipping and shipbuilding market outlooks as geopolitical changes created winners and losers across vessel segments, and rising inflation and interest rate hikes dampened economic outlooks.
The group found generally positive sentiment in the specialised tonnage segments, the most attractive vessels for Wärtsilä. Within the segment, cruise and ferry were boosted by post-pandemic recovery; offshore oil and gas saw offshore support vessel demand rise and laid-up ships return to service on higher oil prices; demand for offshore wind installation and support vessels continues to grow as economies decarbonise; and demand for LNG carriers has boomed as nations shunned Russian gas and look overseas for energy supplies.
On the technology front, Wärtsilä committed to co-ordinate a project to develop ammonia-fuelled 2- and 4-stroke marine engines, two partnerships around blending hydrogen in natural gas engines, and opened its new Sustainable Technology Hub in Vaasa, Finland.
Earlier this month, Wärtsilä announced it was ceasing engine production in Trieste with 450 employees potentially up for redundancy