Troubled Vinalines posts first profit since 2012, ahead of IPO

Thanh Nien News

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A file photo of a Vinalines ship. Photo credit: Dau Tu A file photo of a Vinalines ship. Photo credit: Dau Tu


After several years of making losses and piling up debts, state shipping group Vinalines reported a profit of VND40.3 billion (US$1.77 million) for last year, potentially making it a little more attractive to investors ahead of an approaching IPO.  
News website Dau Tu said on Friday that the troubled giant had also managed to reduce debt to nearly VND6.19 trillion ($276.32 million) by the end of December, down 46 percent from the previous year. 
Vinalines' its financial problems came to light in 2012. In the years earlier, the group kept posting impressive profits and revenues, even as skepticism grew about its real performance. 
After being audited in 2011, the group began reporting huge losses. A government report last year showed that Vinalines had accumulated losses of over VND20.68 trillion ($923.15 million) by the end of 2014.
It began to restructure its operations and debts in 2012, as ordered by the government.
The new profit report came as the company is looking to sell a stake of 65 percent in an IPO later this quarter, the website reported. The company was evaluated at over VND21.28 trillion at the end of 2013, it said, citing the latest estimate available. 
Last year's profit, though small, is the best boost that Vinalines can have for its upcoming share sale plan, deputy Transport Minister Nguyen Van Cong was quoted as saying.
The government last week ordered Vinalines to sell its entire stakes in nine seaports around the country after the IPO.
It was also required to sell part of its shares in another five ports, including three foreign-invested ones at the Cai Mep-Thi Vai complex in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau.

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