WALLENIUS WILHELMSEN LINES SHOWS IMPROVEMENT
Wilh. Wilhelmsen reported an improvement in the first-quarter results of Wallenius Wilhelmsen Lines, its 50/50 liner and car-carrier joint venture with Wallenius Lines AB.
In the latest quarter, net income rose to $7 million, from $1 million in the first quarter of 2001. Net operating income was flat, at $15 million, while gross revenue reached $181 million, up from $169 million in the year-earlier quarter.
“Wallenius Wilhelmsen Lines again experienced a relatively weak start to the year,” the Wilh. Wilhelmsen group said. “However, results improved substantially during the quarter. This helped to ensure a somewhat better
performance than in the corresponding period of last year.”
Wilh. Wilhelmsen said that low car volumes from the Far East to Europe and the U.S. continued to pull down results, while container transport “has become a loss-maker” at Wallenius Wilhelmsen Lines. “However, shipments of other cargo types stayed buoyant and made a positive contribution,” it said.
An improvement in net financial items and the impact of a cost-saving program also made positive contributions to the liner and car-carrier unit.
A letter of intent was signed jointly by Wilh. Wilhelmsen and Wallenius Lines AB in late February with Korea’s Hyundai Merchant Marine on a possible takeover of Hyundai’s car transport division.
Wilh. Wilhelmsen said the Hyundai car-carrier unit “ranks as one of the world’s largest players in its field, with a current fleet of about 70 vessels primarily involved in carrying cars manufactured by Hyundai Motor and Kia Motor from Korea to destinations all over world.”
The Scandinavian shipping group said that a possible acquisition of the division of Hyundai would provide “an excellent complement” to the existing Wallenius Wilhelmsen Lines trades.
Negotiations are continuing in Korea, and Wilh. Wilhelmsen cannot predict their outcome at this stage.
Today, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Lines has a fleet of roughly 60 ships and a presence in all the large and important trades.