Wilh. Wilhelmsen posts lower profit despite cargo growth

Wilh. Wilhelmsen posts lower profit despite cargo growth

Wilh. Wilhelmsen ASA, the world’s largest deep-sea roll-on, roll-off carrier, posted a 30 percent decline in second-quarter profit as one-off charges offset a double-digit increase in cargo volume.

The Oslo-listed company, which transports cars, trucks and heavy equipment on global routes, booked an operating profit of $57 million in the three months through June, down from $82 million in the same period in 2013.

The second-quarter result was affected by $22 million in one-off items, of which $14 million involved restructuring costs at Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics, a joint venture with Sweden’s Wallenius group, and $8 million was compensation for the reduction in the number of Swedish seafarers.

Revenue in the second quarter dipped to $682 million from $689 million a year ago, but was up 7 percent from the first quarter of this year as cargo volume grew 11 percent.

“We saw positive developments in all trades,” Chief Executive Jan Eyvin Wang said. “Like previous quarters, the cargo and trade mix has been unfavourable for our fleet and voyage costs are increasing to cater customer needs, limiting the improvement in our profitability.”

Higher earnings at Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics and South Korean unit Hyundai Glovis offset substantially lower activity at some of the group’s U.S.-based logistics businesses, Wang said.

“The slow, but improved growth in demand for seaborne transportation for auto and high and heavy equipment in the last quarters is expected to continue,” he added.

Contact Bruce Barnard at brucebarnard47@hotmail.com.