Titanic warship shipyard forced to delay essential projects

The shipyard which built the doomed liner the Titanic has postponed a string of key contracts in an update which has cut shares by a fifth. Harland Wolff, which owns the Belfast yard which built the White Star Line ship, said a key military contract to overhaul a minesweeper for the Lithuanian Navy was delayed as a result of parts shortages.

Work on cruises and ferries will also be pushed to 2023, with a total of £30m of projects expected to arrive late.

Additionally, a £5m contract to deliver four wind turbine generators has been abandoned.

Harland and Wolff had hoped to turn a profit of between £65m and £75m but slashed this figure by half.

Share prices in the company dropped by 22 percent following the update.

But its contract with the Lithuanian Navy slowed down after it had difficulty obtaining components for warships.

It has maintained, however, that it will be able to deliver the ship on time.

John Wood, group chief executive, said: “While it is disappointing that we have not met our aspirations for 2022 due to timing issues, we have made significant progress over the last twelve months.

He added: “I believe that we are now at the cusp of a major transformation of the entire group and the team is working hard to convert bids into contracts.”

Harland looked to recover some of its losses this year by picking up a number of contracts that stoked some hopes of a recovery for British shipbuilding.

Shares rallied strongly in November after the company won part of a contract to build Royal Navy supply ships.

However, it has slumped 15pc across 2022 amid lingering concerns about the company’s debts.

HMRC petitioned to have the company wound up for the second time this year in June over an alleged unpaid bill of £92,275.

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