French shipbuilder Naval Group has reported record orders in 2019 with a 44% increase in its order intake value compared with 2018.

The company promised a ‘robust outlook’ for 2020, following a meeting of the company’s board of directors in late February. The company also saw a modest 3%increase in sales rising to €3.7bn.

Chairman and CEO of Naval Group Hervé Guillou said that the results confirmed the company’s ‘strategic position’ and were a sign that the company’s development plan was progressing well.

Guillou said: “Naval Group once again confirms the soundness of its strategic position as an industrial prime contractor, designer and integrator of whole warships and combat systems, as well as the good progress of its development plan.

“The operational milestones, both in France and internationally, have all been met. Among the most striking illustrations, we are proud to have launched the Suffren, the first next-generation SSN, and to have cut the first metal sheet for the defence and intervention frigate (FDI), a digital frigate intended for the French Navy.”

Naval Group’s order intake rose by 44% from €3.68bn in 2018 to €5.3bn in 2019; this was matched by a 9% increase in the value of the company’s order book to just over €15bn. Shipbuilding in France bolstered the company’s performance with the first of six planned Suffren-class submarines being delivered and work on the first of five new frigates for the Marine Nationale (French Navy) underway.

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Guillou cited international shipbuilding contracts and partnerships with other European shipbuilders as a factor in the company’s strong finances.

He said: “Internationally, we have delivered the Khanderi to the Indian Navy but also signed the design contract for the Australian Future Submarine program. We are benefiting from a dynamic market situation and, despite increasingly fierce competition, we won bids for more than twenty ships in five new countries.

“We also play a pivotal role in European alliances and have set up Naviris, a joint company with Fincantieri, our long-standing Italian partner. Our operational and financial performance enables us to guarantee our ability to finance the future long-term growth of the company.”

Naval Group was chosen by Australia to develop the country’s $50bn fleet of 12 new attack submarines designed to give Australia a regional dominance. Naval Group is building a modified version of Suffren-class submarine after being selected for the contract in 2016.

Describing its outlook for 2020, Naval Group said: “The prospects for 2020 are robust, with expected sales growth of about 5% and a rise in consolidated net income (group share) of about 10%.”

The company operates offices and subsidiaries in 18 countries, with ten facilities in France alone. Naval Group is currently working on six Suffren-class and two FREMM Frigates across its shipbuilding facilities in Cherbourg and Lorient, France, a further four submarines are under construction in Brazil as part of a transfer of technology.