Mitsubishi Heavy cruise ship exit may return Aida to Germany-Handelsblatt

FRANKFURT Mon Aug 25, 2014 5:01am EDT

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FRANKFURT Aug 25 (Reuters) - Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy is planning to exit the cruise ship-making business, German business daily Handelsblatt reported, citing several ship owners.

That means Germany's Meyer-Werft stands a good chance of winning back Carnival's Aida Cruises as a customer, the paper reported.

Mitsubishi Heavy took a hit to its results for the 2013/14 fiscal year after delays in the construction of two big cruise ships for Aida led to unexpectedly high costs.

Handelsblatt cited several unnamed shipping companies as saying Mitsubishi Heavy planned to stop building cruise ships.

"Mitsubishi Heavy has not decided on anything at the moment," a spokesman for Mitsubishi Heavy said the company had not decided , adding the group was doing its best to hand over Aida's two ships, delivery of which is due in 2015 and 2016.

A spokesman for Meyer-Werft, which just bought a 70 percent stake in a shipyard in Finland, said the group was open to joint projects. Meyer-Werft has already built seven ships for Aida.

Aida Cruises declined to comment, saying the article in Handelsblatt was "speculation". (Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Additional reporting by Jan Schwartz in Hamburg and Yoko Kubota in Tokyo, editing by Louise Heavens)

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