South Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries <009540.KS>, the world's biggest shipbuilder, said on Monday order growth was expected to more than halve to 20 percent this year as a sputtering global economy threatens to reduce seaborne trade.
The conservative outlook adds to recent order cancellations in the global shipbuilding sector as economic turmoil and tighter bank lending have compounded growing earnings pain for ship owners.
Hyundai, which also makes marine engines and construction equipment, aims to win $30.6 billion in orders and earn 27.6 trillion won ($24 billion) in revenue this year, the company said in a filing to the stock exchange.
A Hyundai spokesman said 2012 order book growth would slow to 20 percent after rising 48 percent in 2011 to $25.5 billion.
Separately smaller rival STX Corp <011810.KS> said it aimed to raise orders by 43 percent to 43 trillion won and sales by 14 percent to 33 trillion won this year.
In 2011, the shipbuilder to ship operator sought to raise its order book by 30 percent but growth came in flat due to worsening conditions in the seaborne sector. ($1 = 1152.0000 won)
(Reporting by Miyoung Kim; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner)