Shipbuilder denies rumor that its boss fled
Saturday, 18 February 2012 | 00:00
Chinese shipbuilder Dongfang Shipbuilding (Group) Company Limited denied rumors about its boss Chen Tongkao fleeing the country due to a potential default on the company’s debt, the 21st Century Business Herald reported Friday.
"My dad has stepped down as company chairman since 2007, but he is still in charge of our overseas business," said Chen Xiudan, Chen Tongkao's daughter.
According to Chen Xiudan, her father is travelling overseas to raise more funds for the company.
Chen Guojun, Chen Tongkao's son and the firm’s current chairman, told the Herald that many suppliers called him after rumors of his father fleeing out of country started to spread. "I've explained [the situation] to each of them," he said.
Dongfang Shipbuilding took in US$127 million in revenue in 2010, with pre-tax profits of US$1.5 million. By the end of June, 2011, the company had US$89 million in new orders. New orders are scheduled to be delivered in January 2014.
"Our shipbuilding bases in Zhejiang and Anhui haven't stopped operations and we can still get new orders. But we are facing a tighter capital environment since last year, when banks started to recover loans," said Chen Guojun.
In addition to Chen Tongkao's efforts to get more funds overseas, his son and daughter are working around Zhejiang and Anhui, hoping to solve the company’s funding difficulties.
"Not only shipbuilding industry, but the entire manufacturing sector is facing pressure from the economic crisis," said Chen Xiudan. "We will try everything we can to repay the banks' loans."
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