Clarksons, the world’s biggest ship broker and shipping services company, boosted first half pre-tax profit 49 percent, driven by a recovery in shipping markets as a result of increased international trade flows.
Profit rose to $25.9 million in the six months to June 30 from $17.5 million in the year earlier period on a 14 percent rise in revenue to $156.6 million.
“Uncertainty remains as to the speed and sustainability of global economic and trade growth,” said chief executive Andi Case.
By The Numbers: U.S. Foreign Trade.
“Nevertheless Clarksons has produced a strong set of results, ahead of the board’s expectations, for the first six months.”
Clarksons’ core shipbroking business boosted profit to $32 million from $22.3 million as dry bulk markets performed better than anticipated.
Confidence started to return to the ship sale and purchase markets, resulting in higher prices across shipping sectors as buying activity increased.
“This was despite the continued reluctance of traditional shipping banks to undertake new projects as new sources of finance, principally from private equity and the U.S. investor market, were willing to step in and replace them,” Clarksons said.
The container ship charter market benefited from increased carrier demand for tonnage in response to positive growth on most routes, especially out of and within Asia.
On average, across a selection of ship sizes, one year container ship charter rates were up by over 80 percent across the first half of 2010 from the historical lows at the end of 2009.
Container ship second hand prices also benefited, with 10 year old vessels fetching almost 60 percent more in the second half of the year.
“Global container trade growth is projected to reach between 9 percent and 10 percent for the full year 2010 with the fundamentals for the sector looking likely to sustain improvements on last year,” Clarksons said.
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