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Submarine builder turns higher profit

AAP logoAAP 28/10/2016 Max Blenkin, Defence Correspondent

Shipbuilder ASC has turned a profit of more than $26 million - more than quadrupling the dividend paid to its owner, the federal government.

In its annual report for 2015-16, the company reported improved performance across its shipbuilding and Collins submarine sustainment businesses.

ASC's highlight of the year was completion of work on HMAS Farncomb, the first Collins submarine to undergo the new two-year, full cycle docking maintenance period, completed ahead of schedule.

Previously, submarine full cycle docking took more than three years.

ASC said the annual report showed the company continued to improve its performance at shipbuilding and submarine sustainment, strengthening its position as Australia's leading builder of complex warships and submarines maintainer.

It's actively pursuing future work in programs to build new submarines and warships.

This is the company which former Defence Minister David Johnston said he wouldn't trust to build a canoe, based on poor submarine mainternance performance and air warfare destroyers running late and over budget.

ASC, formerly the Australian Submarine Corporation, reported an after-tax profit of $21.9 million on total revenue of $1.02 billion. This year the profit was $26.6 million on revenue of $800.8 million.

ASC chairman Bruce Carter said improved submarine maintenance stemmed from investment in infrastructure, people development, process improvements and innovation.

"With more than 2500 highly-skilled employees and many more working in contractor, supplier, customer and partner organisations, an incredible effort underlies ASC's successes," he said.

Company chief executive Stuart Whiley said building 12 new submarines in Australia presented opportunities for ASC.

"We have started working collaboratively with (French shipbuilder) DCNS to share our unique understanding of Australia's submarine requirements and conditions and are well-positioned to assist with this project from the earliest possible stages," he said.

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