Wilh. Wilhelmsen ASA - Results for the first quarter 2013

Shipped volumes declined as expected from the fourth quarter. A continued unfavourable development in cargo mix and lower fleet utilisation brought the operating profit and total income down.

WWASA posted an operating profit of USD 67 million for the first quarter of 2013, down 36% from a seasonally and historically strong first quarter of 2012 (USD 104 million). The total income fell 13% year over year and ended at USD 614 million (USD 710 million). The corresponding figures for the fourth quarter of 2012 were USD 81 million and USD 659 million respectively, equal to a 18% reduction in operating profit and 7% decline in total income quarter on quarter.

"The demand for deep sea transportation of cars and high and heavy cargo, especially mining equipment, has declined since the second half of 2012. This has led to an unfavourable cargo and trade mix limiting our ability to grow total revenue further from an exceptionally strong first half of 2012. With lower fleet utilisation, our operating profit continued to decline", says Jan Eyvin Wang, president and CEO in WWASA. "To offset the lower demand for deep sea transportation, we have implemented several fleet optimising initiatives, including idling, slow steaming and chartering out vessels. The group companies also enjoy benefits from group synergies through swapping of tonnage to adjust capacity to market demand" says Wang.

The group's logistics activities continue to grow, and Mr Wang says: "The earnings from our land-based logistics activities improved and we recorded a 42% increase in operating profit quarter on quarter while the top line grew by 11%."

The Annual General Meeting held on 25 April resolved to pay a dividend of NOK 4.00 per share reflecting the strong result and solid capital gain in 2012. Totalling approximately USD 150 million, the dividend will be payable on or about 14 May.

The board anticipates that the demand for the group's ocean transportation services will stabilise over the next months. The main uncertainty is related to the volume development within the high and heavy segment.

Source: NewsWeb