Wilh. Wilhelmsen ASA - Results for the second quarter of 2013

Shipping volumes increased from the first quarter lifting total revenue and operating profit for the second quarter. Volumes to be shipped by the group are expected to remain at the present level. Operating profit for the second quarter totalled USD 82 million (USD 117 million) based on a total income of USD 652 million (USD 734 million). Compared with the first quarter, operating profit improved by 22% while the total income increased 6%. The total revenue and operating profit were substanitally lower when comparing with the similar quarter and first half of 2012, which were exceptionally strong periods for the group. Year to date, the group delivered an operating profit of USD 149 million (USD 221 million) and a total income of USD 1 266 million (USD 1 444 million).

"The downward trend in demand for deep sea transportation starting mid 2012 levelled off in the second quarter, with positive development for both our cargo segments," says Jan Eyvin Wang, president and CEO of WWASA. "Volumes increased 13% from the first quarter with high and heavy cargo volumes growing more than cars. Improved cargo and trade mix and higher fleet utilisation also contributed to the improvement in performance."

Following previous quarters' volume decline, the group has implemented several optimising measures. Wang comments: "Actively optimising and adjusting tonnage to market demand will continue to be in focus going forward. We charter in and out vessels, swap tonnage between group companies, optimise speed, redeliver vessels, order newbuildings and recycle older tonnage, all aimed at positioning the group's fleet to current market demands and future prospects. There is still a potential for further operational efficiency gains."

The group's logistics investments show steady underlying performance. "Revenue and earnings decreased slightly quarter on quarter mainly caused by a positive tax adjustment in Hyundai Glovis in the first quarter. During the last few months, we have also seen signs of margin pressure, affecting our operating profit for the quarter. The contribution from logistics activities is, however, considerably up year over year," says Wang.

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 was paid to shareholders on 14 May. The group continue to have a strong balance sheet with ample liquidity.

The board anticipates that volumes shipped by the group will remain at present level, on par with the second quarter. Going forward, the group will continue to actively optimise and adjust tonnage to market demand.

Source: NewsWeb