Overseas push

Non-Italian business is close to surpassing domestic revenues at RINA for the first time.

Every year RINA Group becomes more and more of a multinational and multifaceted company, expanding almost everywhere in the world and into many new industries and services.

The turnover of the group in 2015 reached above €375m (some $410m) globally and is split between engineering and advisory services delivered by D’Appolonia, which accounts for around 34% of revenues, and testing, inspection and certification services offered through Rina Services, accounting for the residual 66% of the turnover. RINA’s original core business represented by ship classification and services to the marine industry accounts roughly for 43% of the total testing, inspection and certification business.

The Genoa-based company has especially close ties with passenger ship and ferry builders and operators, and also with large yacht builders, two sectors where RINA is leader in the world.

“Just how close our ties are with Italian shipping is demonstrated by the simple statistic that 93% of the Italian flag tonnage is in class with RINA,” underlines Ugo Salerno, chairman and ceo of the group. “We generate about 52% of our revenue within Italy and the rest is spilt globally, with good shares in North Europe, the Americas and Asia. If you look at how the overall group business is growing, the expansion is coming mostly from outside Italy and from new areas of competence, fuelled by a strong and targeted acquisition programme. We plan to continue with that focus, always looking to build our presence in areas where we can grow steadily.”

Focusing on maritime businesses outside Italy, RINA hase recently expanded in the key Greek market by opening a dedicated R&D centre in Piraeus. In Canada and in the US RINA has expanded through the takeover respectively of a marine survey company and a leading company in the field of oil and gas inspections last year. The Italian classification company is also increasing its market share of local shipowners in Asia, especially Indonesia and China, and in North Europe where the new Hamburg office, which opened in February this year, will have double the current capacity and a full scale plan approval centre.

In the cruise industry RINA is currently classing two 5,200 passenger cruise vessels ordered at Fincantieri by MSC Cruises, plus four luxury cruise vessels (two each for Silversea and Seabourn). Looking ahead Fincantieri is working on the design of the next generation LNG-powered cruiseships, of which Carnival has already ordered four to RINA class to be built at Meyer Werft.
The company headed by Salerno also chairs, facilitates and participates in numerous governmental bodies and EU research projects. “One example is a major project to help facilitate the creation of an LNG bunker chain in the Mediterranean. Of course, apart from the strictly marine field, our expertise is in high demand for LNG handling and exploitation, with FLNG projects in Indonesia, Chile and other countries,” the CEO says.

RINA has started a capability building program for its Shanghai office in order to be ready to provide the rising Chinese cruise industry with all the necessary support, including training courses for yards and designers, assistance in design and calculations, drawing approval and supervision of construction.

Looking at the Middle East, and especially the Arabian Gulf, which represents a strategic growth area for RINA, Salerno is also keeping a close eye on Iran. “With sanctions lifted we will see a strong demand for both engineering and certification/classification services and RINA is well-positioned to expand across the Gulf into Iran, especially in the oil, gas and products sectors,” says the class veteran.

Finally, in Southeast Asia, the bright spot for RINA is today in Indonesia with a classed fleet of 500 ships, totalling over 1.4m gt in 2015.

This article first appeared in the just published Splash Italy Market Report 2016. You can read the full magazine online for free by clicking here.

Nicola Capuzzo

Nicola is a highly qualified journalist focused on transport economics, logistics and shipping with broad experience in both online and printed media. Specialties: shipping, ship finance, banking, commodities and port economics. He regularly interviews Europe's top shipowner executives for Maritime CEO magazine.
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