Austal announced that the US Navy awarded its US business a US$235 million undefinitised contract for the detailed design and construction of the 15th Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) vessel. Austal USA has delivered twelve EPFs to the US Navy since 2012, from the company’s Mobile, Alabama, shipyard.
Austal Limited Chief Executive Officer Paddy Gregg said the new contract was a clear demonstration of confidence by the US Navy in the versatile EPF platform, designed by Austal Australia and manufactured by Austal USA. “The EPF has become a real success story, delivering a fast, flexible and versatile capability to the US Navy. The EPF has made a real difference to military operations and other humanitarian and disaster relief missions over many years now, and this additional vessel contract reflects the continuing confidence in the unique high-speed platform.”
The announcement comes following the company's recent half-year results last week, where Austal achieved another strong half of earnings. While revenue of $840.3 million was down 19.1%, EBIT of $70.5 million and NPAT of $52.4 million, were up 17.6% and 28.7% respectively. The results were driven by solid shipbuilding margins in both USA and Australasia operations. Austal declared an increased interim unfranked dividend to 4.0cps, and maintained FY21 EBIT guidance of $125 million.
Shares recovered following recent softness after the company provided an update on investigations being conducted by US Department of Justice and the Securities Exchange Commission, and ASIC into historical matters concerning Austal’s Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program before July 2016.
In a separate announcement on Monday, Austal's Philippines subsidiary confirmed it delivered a 109-metre high-speed catamaran ferry called FSTR to Fjord Line of Norway, the largest aluminium vessel it has ever constructed.