Doosan may complete self-rescue plan earlier than expected Views are mixed about growth prospects of the conglomerate’s new businesses

Translated by Ryu Ho-joung 공개 2021-07-20 08:04:04

이 기사는 2021년 07월 20일 08:02 더벨 유료페이지에 표출된 기사입니다.

South Korea’s Doosan Group, which received 3 trillion won ($2.6 billion) support from state-controlled lenders in early last year to solve its cash issues, may complete its self-rescue plan earlier than expected as the conglomerate’s overall financial position has rapidly improved on the back of its restructuring efforts.

But there are mixed views on Doosan’s future growth drivers, such as clean energy, as it is likely to take time for the conglomerate to become globally competitive in newly entered market and generate solid cash flow from its new businesses.

A high-ranking official at one of the state-controlled banks said on Friday that Doosan is very determined to complete its self-rescue plan, but adding that there are concerns among some creditors about the prospects of the conglomerate’s new businesses.

“Doosan is on track to complete its self-rescue plan. It also seems possible to end supervision by creditors in the near future as long as Doosan convinces them about the growth potential of its new businesses,” he said. “With a new focus on clean energy, Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction wouldn't want to start a new chapter as a company supervised by creditors.”

Over the last year, Doosan sold several non-core businesses and properties – including Dosan Solus, the Mottrol business group, Doosan Tower and Club Mow Country Club – to improve liquidity. Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction, the conglomerate’s key affiliate, successfully raised more than 1 trillion won in a rights issue last December. The 850 billion won sale of Doosan Infracore is also expected to be completed later this year.

While Doosan significantly improved its liquidity position, state-controlled lenders may raise concerns about its future growth potential. Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction shifted its focus to the clean energy space such as gas turbines.

But the global gas turbine market is already dominated by US-based General Electric, Germany’s Siemens, Japan’s MHPS and Italy’s Ansaldo Energia. Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction became the fifth company in the world to develop its own gas turbine technology but commercialization is likely to take time.

Even if the company succeeds in commercialization, whether the business will generate solid cash flow is another story. That is also true for Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction's other new businesses including offshore wind turbines and small and medium reactors.

“Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction’s new businesses are unlikely to turn profitable in a short period of time,” said the high-ranking official.

It is a positive that Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction’s existing businesses are performing well. The company reported an operating profit of 54.7 billion won on a non-consolidated basis for the three months through March this year. Its subsidiary, Doosan Bobcat, recorded consolidated operating profit of 171.3 billion won in the same period. (Reporting by Ki-soo Park)
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