ITALY-based classification-society RINA has reported continuing growth in both turnover and returns for 2008. Turnover for the 2008 year was Euro 183m, up 17 per cent on 2007, and EBITDA was Euro 30 m, up 18 per cent on the 2007 financial year.

Ugo Salerno, ceo of RINA says, "2008 was a year of careful scrutiny of our services and client base to ensure that we are doing the right things, for the world we live in, for our clients and for ourselves. It was also a year for consolidation and careful attention to detail within the group, to ensure that we are doing things right. We had to consolidate the companies acquired in 2007, control costs and work hard to get the right people with the right skills and the right management support into the right places around the world. We succeeded in both leading our clients and ourselves in the right direction, and doing things right internally. The Group posted a 17 per cent growth in turnover in 2008 to Euro 183 million and EBITDA grew by 18 per cent over the same period.

"The strong results in 2008 were based on good performances in all three operating Divisions. The Marine Division grew turnover and made strong advances in diversifying its client base into Asia and Greece. The Certification Division strongly improved margins while globalising its services and diversifying into new service areas. The Industry Division showed the strongest turnover growth and branched out into new services whilst deepening its relationships with key clients, which helped cushion lower than expected activity in consulting engineering.

"In 2009 we anticipate further investment in human resources and training, in our global service delivery network, in environmental services, in internal quality management and in establishing leadership in research an development projects. Those investments will position the Group to take advantage of the current turbulent global environment."

In 2008 RINA’s Marine Division grew turnover by 14.6 per cent. More importantly, major shipyards and shipowners across Asia showed their confidence in RINA by choosing it to class large newbuilding orders.

The strategy of developing a fully skilled local Plan Approval Centre in Shanghai, supported by six survey stations across China and offices in Indonesia and Vietnam meant that by the year end thirty-five newbuildings were on order in China to RINA class for Asian owners, and a further thirty-five RINA-class newbuildings were on order in Indonesia for Asian owners. 150 vessels owned by Asian shipowners were classed by RINA and RINA will continue its expansion in Asia by building on its leading position in the passenger ship sector to expand in the coastal ro-pax market.

A similar expansion took place in Greece following the establishment of a local Plan Approval Centre in Piraeus. The RINA-class Greek-owned fleet grew by 21 per cent in 2008.

At the end of 2008 RINA’s classed fleet reached 3,545 vessels totalling 23.5 million GT. That was an increase of 9 per cent on 2007. The bulk carrier fleet grew strongly by over 20 per cent and the oil and chemical tanker fleet grew by 18 per cent, with an average age of 8 years.

In 2008 RINA had zero class-related detentions in the USA and in the European and Tokyo Memoranda of Understanding on Port State control.

Over the year the orderbook grew at a faster rate than ever before, and now it has reached about 50 per cent of the present classed fleet. Much of this increased order-book came from shipowners new to RINA in Greece, China, Turkey, Germany and Indonesia. At the year end there were 55 passenger ships totalling 1.95 million GT building to RINA class, an area where RINA leads the world.

At a meeting held on May 8, 2009 the Registro Italiano Navale, Rina’s sole shareholder, confirmed the results for 2008.

Enrico Scerni, chairman of RINA, says, "2008 was the year in which confidence in a solid client base proved itself. In a year which saw speculators humbled and high-profile companies and financial institutions needing state support in many countries, RINA’s careful and sustained focus on delivering real services and real value to real clients was the key to sustaining growth and positioning the group to expand further when conditions permit."

· RINA SpA is the operational company of Registro Italiano Navale, founded in Genoa in 1861, and is one of the oldest classification societies and one of the ten most important in the world. Throughout its history, RINA has progressively diversified its activities, transferring the skills acquired and consolidated in the marine industries to other sectors, covering quality, environmental and product management system certification, social accountability certification and advanced services for industry.

· RINA has ninety offices in over thirty countries and employs around 1,300 exclusive personnel. Through its Marine Division RINA has a classed fleet of over 3,545 ships totalling 23.5m gt, plus over 1,000 yachts and over 300 special units (military ships, coast guard, police and fire brigade craft). It is a world leader in passenger ship classification.