Wilh. Wilhelmsen Boosts Profit 13.5 Percent

Wilh. Wilhelmsen Boosts Profit 13.5 Percent

Norway's Wilh. Wilhelmsen Holding boosted earnings 13.5 percent in 2010 from the previous year, driven by strong growth in auto and heavy-cargo traffic on its key routes between Asia, Europe and North America.

The Oslo-listed shipping, logistics and maritime services group posted an operating profit of $273.4 million last year compared with $240.8 million in 2009 on a 10.6 percent increase in revenue to $2.85 billion.

Operating profit slipped to $76.1 million in the fourth quarter from $78.3 million a year ago due to restructuring costs and write down of inventory as revenue grew to $767.3 million from $727.7 million.

Wilh. Wilhelmsen third quarter news from JOC:
Wilh. Wilhelmsen Profit Jumps 55 Percent

"For 2010 in total, our shipping and logistics investment show the most distinct improvement in operating profit and total income," said Chief Executive Officer Thomas Wilhelmsen.

"A substantial increase in volumes supported by a healthy balance between cars and high and heavy cargo are key factors behind the solid rebound."

Wilh. Wilhelmsen ASA, the group's 75 percent owned unit that was floated on the Oslo stock exchange in 2010, boosted fourth quarter operating profit to $65.8 million from $50.3 million a year ago as revenue rose to $523.7 million from $446.3 million.

Full year operating profit adjusted for one off items grew to $194.3 million from $86.5 million on revenue of $1.96 billion against $1.68 billion in the previous year.

"In addition to a 25 percent increase in transported volumes in 2010 compared with 2009, an improved cargo and trade mix contributed to our strong performance," said Jan Eyvin Wang, president and CEO of WWASA.

"Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics shows the strongest rebound, EUKOR still delivers a solid performance while American Roll-on Roll-off Carriers is down from peak earning levels."

The company expects a seasonal downturn in the early part of 2011 followed by moderate growth in cargo volume.

-- Contact Bruce Barnard at brucebarnard47@hotmail.com.