“Transportation demand remained strong through the quarter and our ongoing investments in modern and more efficient tonnage is paying off,” says Jan Eyvin Wang, president and CEO WWASA.
Operating profit amounted to USD 104 million for the first quarter of 2012 (USD 49 million), up 17% from USD 89 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. Total income amounted to USD 710 million (USD 523 million), up 6% or USD 40 million quarter on quarter. The equivalent increases from the corresponding period in 2011 are 123% and 36% respectively.
“Volumes are seasonally strong and on par with the fourth quarter. We’ve seen a particularly strong export out of Japan and a healthy growth in high and heavy volumes. This gives the group a favourable cargo and trade mix, all contributing to higher earnings,” says Wang. “We are particularly pleased to see that new tonnage has a positive impact on optimising our operations and that our newer and larger vessels are tailor made to meet the increased transportation demand for high and heavy cargo.”
The group’s fleet increased with net four new vessels from the fourth quarter of 2011, giving a lifting capacity equivalent to 834 000 car equivalent units.
“Currently, we have a sound fleet utilisation. However, with the positive outlook for volumes to be transported, too high utilisation in certain trades might increase costs and put pressure on margins,” says Wang. “We are therefore focusing on optimising the total fleet among the group companies.”
The group’s logistics activities continue to deliver stable top line growth and improved operating profit following high activity and increased volumes handled at land based facilities.
Net financials amounted to an expense of USD 12 million (expense of USD 21 million). Group profit before tax and minority interest came to USD 91 million (USD 28 million). The group recorded a tax expense of USD 3 million (expense of USD 3 million), with a net profit after tax and minority interest at USD 88 million (USD 26 million).
On 26 April, the annual general meeting resolved to pay a dividend of NOK 0.65 per share. The dividend was paid on 9 May. The group’s objective is to pay dividend semi-annually.
The board’s prospects for the coming months are: “The underlying cargo development continues to be positive. However, uncertainties related to the development of the world economy, the financial markets and the oil price may influence WWASA’s profitability going forward.”
For further information, contact
Jan Eyvin Wang, president and CEO:
+47 67 58 47 05 (office), +47 900 20 200 (mob)
Benedicte Bakke Agerup, CFO:
+47 67 58 48 55 (office), +47 915 48 029 (mob)
Benedicte Gude, group vice president corporate communication:
+47 67 58 41 77 (office), +47 959 07 951 (mob)
Wilh. Wilhelmsen ASA is through its operating companies (Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics, EUKOR Car Carriers and American Shipping and Logistics) the world leading operator within the rolling cargo segment. It is the only listed company in its niche, and offers global car and high and heavy cargo customers sea transportation and integrated logistics solutions from factory to dealer. For more information, please visit www.wilhelmsenasa.com
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