TOKYO Oct 9 Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
is planning to stop taking new orders for large
passenger ships, downsizing its shipbuilding operations due to a
slump in orders, the Nikkei newspaper reported on Sunday.
The plans by Japan's fourth-largest shipbuilder come as new
shipbuilding orders have declined 80 percent so far this year,
the Nikkei said. Citing unidentified sources, it said the
company was considering splitting off its planning and design
division and sharing shipyards with other companies.
A spokesman for Mitsubishi Heavy, which also builds aircraft
and defence equipment, said the report was not based on
information provided by the company and declined further
Mitsubishi Heavy took a 103.9 billion yen ($1.01 billion)
loss on its cruise ship construction operations in the year
ended March, having delayed the delivery of a cruise ship
produced for Carnival Corp by more than a year.
The Nikkei said Mitsubishi Heavy was planning to reduce
risks in its shipbuilding operations by focussing on building
smaller ships, which have simpler specifications.
($1 = 102.9000 yen)
(Reporting by Naomi Tajitsu; Editing by Paul Tait)