Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. (HHI) has reported sales of KRW6.05 trillion for the fourth quarter of 2008, compared with the sales of KRW4.25 trillion in the year-ago quarter. It has also reported net profit of KRW854 billion for the fourth quarter of 2008.

HHI expected new orders to drop 23% in 2009 due to the global recession.

Hyundai’s fourth-quarter results beat expectations. But new shipbuilding orders could drop to one-third (of last year’s levels) this year, said PJ Yoon, an analyst at Samsung Securities.

HHI anticipated orders to decrease to $21.1 billion in 2009 from $27.5 billion in 2008 and added that shipbuilding, construction equipment and engine orders would be hit.

But the company expected orders for offshore facilities and plants could rise on continuing demand from energy exploration projects.

HHi also says although shipbuilding margins fell on higher steel costs, profits increased in plant and engine divisions.

Earnings contributions from affiliates and interest income on cash deposits over new orders also increased its bottom line.

HHI said it was targetting KRW22.88 trillion in 2009 sales, up 14.6% from 2008.