The shipyard has also to prepare for sudden changes in the business environment, Mr. Lee Sung-keun was quoted as saying by Yonhap news agency.

Mr. Lee was officially named the shipyard's new president last week ahead of a planned merger with compatriot and the world's largest shipbuilder, Hyundai Heavy Industries Co.

Earlier this month, Hyundai Heavy Industries signed a formal deal with the state-run Korea Development Bank (KDB) to buy Daewoo Shipbuilding, a deal that could create the world's largest shipbuilding group with an approximate 20% market share.

If the takeover goes ahead on schedule, the South Korean shipbuilding industry is expected to be dominated by two major shipbuilders, Hyundai Heavy and Samsung Heavy Industries Co.

Over the recent years, the South Korean shipbuilding industry, including HHI, SHI and DSME, has been hit by an oversupply of vessels combined with low oil prices and a decrease in new orders in the last years, as a result from global economic downturn in 2008 and Chinese competition.

The news comes at a time of an optimistic forecast for South Korean shipbuilders, who had been struggling for years, but they eventually met their order targets in 2018 and took again the lead over China on global shipbuilding orders.