Wilh Wilhelmsen car volumes down in 2009
Norway’s Wilh. Wilhelmsen group reported a fourth quarter net loss of $21.8 million compared to a net loss of $168.4 million in the same 2007 period.
Operating revenue improved to $842.3 million from $732 million in the fourth quarter of 2007. Operating profit was $134 million compared to $58.9 million in the same 2007 period.
For the full year, net profit was $90.3 million, up from $3.1 million in 2007.
Operating revenue in 2008 was $3.38 billion compared to $2.69 billion in 2007. Operating profit improved to $351.6 million from
$265.7 million in 2007.
“A booming world economy, strong global trade and the increasing demand for maritime transport of cars resulted in record transport volumes and operating income for our ship operating companies in 2008,” said Ingar Skaug, group chief executive office.
“However, as the year progressed, there was a significant contraction in volumes in the wake of the grave financial turmoil. Consequently, cargo volumes for the fourth quarter declined compared to the same period in 2007,” Skaug said. “We expect a decline in car volumes for 2009, and although the short term outlook for high and heavy and project cargoes are somewhat down, we deem the underlying demand to be more stable.”
Wilh. Wilhelmsen owns 50 percent stakes in both Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics and American Roll-on, Roll-off Carrier and a 40 percent stake in of Eukor Car Carriers.
The company’s Wilhelmsen Maritime Services, which is involved in ship operations work such as ship management and agency work, had operating income of over $1 billion in 2008, a 10-fold increase since 2004, he said. The company is benefiting from an “increase in global trade and extraordinary high newbuilding activities.' He said ship operations “historically have been less cyclical than the newbuilding market. However, the significant uncertainty regarding cancellations and delays at the yards poses a risk for WMS.”