Tropical ended 2004 with record results
U.S./Caribbean shipping line Tropical Shipping ended the year 2004 with a strong fourth-quarter operating income of $15.3 million, up 68 percent on the year-earlier quarter, and revenue of $97.3 million, up 30 percent when compared to the carrier’s $74.9 million revenue for the fourth quarter of 2003.
The increase to $15.3 million from $9.1 million in operating income was due primarily to higher volumes and improved average rates, said Nicor, the parent company of Tropical.
The figures also show a notable rise in the shipping line’s operating margin to 16 percent of revenue in the latest quarter, from 12 percent in the fourth quarter of 2003.
For the year, Tropical raised its operating income 39 percent to $31.6 million, from $22.7 million in 2003. Over the same period, revenue rose 14 percent, to $310.7 million in 2004, from $272.2 million in the previous year. Nicor said the higher operating income for 2004 was due primarily to higher volumes shipped and improved average rates, partially offset by lower charter income and increased expenses related to higher voyage, inland transportation and port costs, labor and related costs, leased equipment costs and vessel charter costs.
The carrier reached an operating margin of 10 percent of revenue in 2004, believed to be its best for many years.
“Our shipping business had an outstanding year, including record earnings, and our other energy-related businesses provided very good year-to-year growth in profits,” said Thomas L. Fisher, Nicor’s chairman and chief executive officer.
Nicor expects to improve its shipping operating results again this year.