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Aboitiz Transport buys ro-ro vessels from Japan

Aboitiz Transport Systems Corp. is buying two used vessels for $7.5 million each as part of the company's efforts to modernize its fleet. The company told the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) on Tuesday it had agreed to buy two roll-on, roll-off passenger vessels, namely the MV Sunflower Kogane from The Diamond Ferry Co. Ltd. in Oita, Japan and the MV Sunflower Nishiki from Kansai Kisen Kaisha in Osaka, Japan. The liner said the used ships can carry 400 20-foot cargo container vans and ferry 2,000 passengers. Both ships are expected to arrive next month. “Aiming towards operational excellence, the vessel purchase is intended to modernize its current fleet to achieve greater efficiencies," Aboitiz Transport told the bourse. “These vessels are also expected to provide additional options for SuperFerry passengers traveling during this coming summer season and better support the growing value-added business of 2GO," it added. Aboitiz Transport’s principal business is transporting people using its SuperFerry, SuperCat and Cebu Ferries brands of vessels, as well as transporting cargoes under 2GO. Majority of the company is owend by Aboitiz Equity Ventures, the holding company of the Cebu-based Aboitz family’s interests in the banking, food production, property, construction, and shipbuilding industries. Aboitiz Transport posted a P428.8-million profit as of September last year, a marked improvement from its P49.4-million net loss in the same nine-month period a year earlier. The shipping industry leader has offices in Bacolod, Batangas, Cagayan de Oro, Calapan, Cebu, Coron, Cotabato, Davao, Dipolog, Dumaguete, General Santos, Iligan, Iloilo, Jagna, Manila, Nasipit, Ormoc, Ozamiz, Puerto Princesa, Surigao, Tagbilaran and Zamboanga. The company earlier said profits had likely gone up last year. In 2008, the company posted a net income of P106 million. — GMANews.TV