Wilh. WilhelmsenÆs profits soar
Norway's Wilh. Wilhelmsen, a major shareholder in vehicle carriers Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics, American Roll-on/Roll-off, Eukor and Unitor, reported fourth quarter net operating profit of $165 million, up 146 percent from $67 million posted in the same quarter in 2005.
Operating income for the quarter improved 12 percent to $683 million from $608 million.
The Lysaker-based company said it made a sales gain of about $83 million from the sale of its 24 percent interest in Dutch heavy transportation company Dockwise in December to private equity firm 3i.
For all of 2006, Wilh. Wilhelmsen posted record net operating profit of $368 million, a 59 percent rise compared with $232 million in the previous year. Annual operating income was $2.5 billion, up 14 percent from $2.2 billion the year before.
'We're gaining the benefits of operating more rationally and efficiently as well as exploiting synergies between the companies in the WW group,' said Ingar Skaug, Wilh. Wilhelmsen's chief executive officer. 'Good market conditions are also contributing to our expansion. High fleet utilization and good cargo availability characterized 2006.'
Looking forwards, the company said it expects a profit in 2007 on a par with that achieved in 2006. 'We expect growth in all cargo categories for the shipping and logistics segments and in relation to maritime services,' Skaug said.