BUREAU Veritas has reported a twelve per cent increase in consolidated revenue for 2006, to Euro 1,846m - the seventh successive year of double-digit growth for the international classification society.

Adjusted operating income, meanwhile, was up by ten per cent on the previous year, to Euro 268.3m. A ten per cent increase was also recorded in personnel numbers, with 26,207 employees registered at December 31, 2006.

Organic growth was especially strong in the marine and industry divisions - particularly in the oil and gas sector. In its Marine Business Review 2007, BV confirms that its classed fleet grew by 12.3 per cent to 7,530 ships, totalling 54.6 m gt. And a flood of large newbuildings drove down the average age of the BV-classed fleet.

BV's share of the world newbuilding orderbook reached 11.5 per cent in terms of gross tonnage, and over fifteen per cent when calculated in numbers of ships. Record-breaking orders were recorded in some sectors as BV took key market shares such as the 18 per cent of new bulkers coming to BV class, following the investment in CSR rules, tools development, design analysis and training for yards.

In 2006, owners from 51 countries placed orders for new ships to be built to BV class. China, France, Greece and Taiwan were the countries in which owners turned to BV in the largest numbers, with Japan, Turkey, the United States, the Netherlands and Iran also ordering significant numbers of ships. These ships are to be built in forty-two different countries, with China, Korea and Japan taking the lion's share, but significant tonnages are also under construction in Turkey, the Netherlands, the Philippines and Spain.

Other key areas of success for BV were LNG, where its technical leadership in both very large ships and in issues such as sloshing - and its innovative techniques for sophisticated smaller ships - gave it almost twenty per cent of new orders. In terms of specialised ships, meanwhile, BV took 43 per cent of new orders.