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Austal (ASX:ASB) - CEO, David Singleton
CEO, David Singleton
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  • Austal’s (ASB) U.S. operations will remain open as its services are deemed essential in the national defence of the United States
  • Despite COVID-19 impacting many businesses, the U.S. Navy and U.S. Department of Homeland Security outlined that the company’s defence ship building is much needed in the country
  • Austal has already put travel restrictions in place for non-essential employees, comprehensive facility sanitisation and social distancing
  • The company’s operations are also continuing in Australia, Vietnam and the Philippines, complying will all regulations
  • The company is up 7.36 per cent on the market today and shares are trading for $2.48 each

Austal’s (ASB) U.S. operations are remaining open as its services are deemed essential in the national defence of the United States.

Despite COVID-19 impacting many businesses, the U.S. Navy and U.S. Department of Homeland Security outlined that the company’s defence shipbuilding is much needed in the country.

The company employs around 4000 people and is contracted to deliver 19 Littoral Combat Ships and 14 Expeditionary Fast Transport Ships to the U.S. Navy. 11 of each ship have been delivered to date.

The U.S. Government is working with Austal USA to ensure all roads are taken to protect the workforce and continue the production and maintenance of ships.

Assistant Secretary of the United States Navy (Research, Development and Acquisition), James F. Geurts, identified Austal as performing a critical role in the national defence of the United States of American during COVID-19.

In a letter addressed to Austal USA President Craig Perciavalle from March 19 2020, Assistant Secretary Geurts outlined the importance of Austal USA’s naval ship construction and repair efforts that are meeting a national need that is ‘unwavering and crucial’ to national security.

“Given the mission essential functions you perform, while ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the workforce, I cannot stress enough the importance of accomplishing this (shipbuilding) mission,” Assistant Secretary Geurts wrote.

Austal USA currently has six ships under various phases of construction at its Mobile Alabama shipyard.

The company’s U.S. operations provide 77 per cent of its revenue and 89 per cent of its earnings before interest and tax.

Austal CEO David Singleton said that the USA shipyard is following the strict safety guidelines issued by the United States Centers of Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organisation and has taken a number of significant steps to ensure workforce health and safety at the shipyard.

He went on to add that the company has already started travel restrictions for non-essential employees, comprehensive facility sanitisation, social distancing, and conducting virtual meetings wherever possible.

Austal’s shipbuilding operations throughout Australia, Vietnam and the Philippines continue to operate, complying with all local COVID-19 responses by respective governments and health authorities.

Austal is up 7.36 per cent on the market today and shares are trading for $2.48 each at 2:38 pm AEDT.

ASB by the numbers
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