Wilh. WilhelmsenÆs 1st-quarter profit slides 29%
Norway's Wilh. Wilhelmsen, a major shareholder in vehicle carriers Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics, American Roll-on/Roll-off, Eukor and Unitor, today reported first quarter net operating profit of $53 million, down 28.7 percent compared to $74.3 million posted in the same quarter last year.
The company said the profit difference in the latest quarter was negatively influenced by special items with an aggregate impact of $21 million, including an accounting gain in last year's first quarter of $7 million from the creation of Express Offshore Transport, and changes to compensation under bunkers hedging contracts in this year's quarter increasing operating costs by about $14 million.
Operating income for the first quarter 2007 declined 6.5 percent to $581.5 million, from $621.8 million in the prior year quarter.
Wilh. Wilhelmsen said it expects a profit for 2007 'somewhat weaker than in 2006' primarily because Korean subsidiary Eukor has not yet reached agreement with Asian car manufacturers Hyundai and Kia on compensation for higher bunkers prices.
'Cargo availability is good and fleet utilization very high in the market,' said Ingar Skaug, Wilh. Wilhelmsen's group chief executive. 'Demand for shipping cars from Asia to the USA and Europe is particularly high.'