Spyridon Zolotas explains why and how RINA goes forward
The RINA Group is an international company that helps enterprises and communities to achieve greater competitiveness and effective risk management through the conception, creation, management and assessment of projects. The Group has developed the best competencies and combined them with its own values of integrity and responsibility, gained in over 150 years of experience, into a way of working that meets the highest expectations. RINA Group delivers advanced technical competency through a network of companies dedicated to different sectors covering Environment and Quality, Energy, Maritime, Ethics and Safety, Food Production and Healthcare, Infrastructures and Constructions, Logistics and Transport. With a turnover of around 300 million Euros, over 2, 100 employees, and 130 offices in 42 countries worldwide, RINA meets the needs of its clients and is recognized as an authoritative member of key international organizations and an important contributor to the development of new legislative standards.
Last year was a year of transition for RINA. It was already a multinational and multi-faceted company, sharing its knowledge and experience through a wide range of services which help industries and the community to improve their businesses and quality of life. Today we are in another period of change, which will make us more competitive and improve services to clients globally.
Recognising that developed markets are in a difficult time we are investing in areas which are growing economically. To make that investment more effective we have set innovation free within the company by removing divisional structures and putting in place a flexible client-focused matrix. To be competitive and to have the resources to invest we have reduced costs and sharpened our processes. And we are making a series of targeted acquisitions which will substantially increase our range of competences and market penetration.
We know that success is down to being in countries where growth is happening and to providing shipowners with the services they need. All the changes we have done, and are doing, create a balanced group around the marine business and create more services and expertise which our traditional marine clients can benefit from.
Our old formal vertical divisions focussed on marine, industry and certification have been replaced with a matrix which allows working with client-focussed teams, specific to individual client’s global needs.
The first major acquisition we have made saw RINA take control of the D’Appolonia Group, a global engineering consultancy headquartered inGenoa. The acquisition of an 80 per cent holding in D’Appolonia SPA significantly strengthens RINA’s global engineering consultancy and takes RINA’s projected 2012 turnover to over Euro300m.
Marine services continue to be the largest contributor to RINA’s turnover. In 2011 the classed fleet grew by 8.5 per cent to 4, 375 ships totalling 33m gt and despite the slowdown in global ordering RINA closed the year with a strong order book of 425 ships totalling 3.3m gt building to RINA class.
The strong results in the marine sector were achieved by expanding into new areas and increasing services to shipowners. Asia showed especially strong growth with the classed fleet of vessels owned inAsiaincreasing by 25 per cent. But there was also growth inScandinaviaand the Greek-owned and RINA-class fleet has been significantly renewed, as older units are sold or go to scrap and newer vessels join the fleet.
This year we will launch a suite of six different energy saving and management tools and services to help owners reduce energy use and comply with the new requirements.
RINA’s excellent track record in port state control and expertise with passenger vessels was recently recognised by the US Coast Guard which authorised RINA to conduct plan review, approval and surveys for US-flagged cargo and passenger vessels. Approvals from the Norwegian and Polish authorities have followed, and RINA was recently certified to audit vessels and companies for the Clean Shipping Index.
In the yacht sector RINA classes 1, 250 yachts and now has 250 newbuilding yacht projects under class. Green Plus certification was awarded to two major new yachts from Italian yards recently and extended to cover the production of the Princess and Sunseeker yachts in theUK. A new dedicated yacht office was opened inAntibes, to be closer to key clients and yards and a dedicated yacht team was set up inGreece.
We have moved to new offices in Greece which give us the space to expand and provide new services. One of those is the Piraeus Training Centre, focussed in providing open training course covering a wide range of activities. Skill transfer is a key part of our job, it really benefits shipowners.