Saturday, January 30, 2010

Indian Dry Bulk And Tanker Shipping Group Reveals Drop In Profits

Great Eastern Shipping Figures Confirm Condition of the Markets
Shipping News Feature

INDIA – Mumbai based bulk shipping company Great Eastern Shipping (GE) revealed that their net quarterly profit to 31st December was down 68% as various factors affected the trade. The company, which owns 32 crude, product and gas carriers plus 6 dry bulk vessels, confirmed low tanker rates for the period, only rising just before the end of the third quarter, were a major influence on the figures.

The company does not foresee dramatic rises in the tanker sector although there may be an improvement as older vessels are scrapped, particularly with the phasing out of single hulled ships which may go some way to reduce the amout of idle tonnage currently available. Better news is anticipated for the dry trade as long as Chinese demand holds firm.

The group has several subsidiary companies engaged in chartering and offshore oil and gas operations. It is also committed to the purchase of several new vessels to reinforce its fleet. The Q3 figures are the worst in six years dropping to a net profit of around $20 million as against circa $62 million in 2008. Income in total fell almost 30% to around $150 million. The company also has apparently lost money in foreign exchange dealings, reportedly about $8 million plus other smaller losses on interest rate trades.

The groups offshore operations helped buoy the figures somewhat and GE feel they can make further inroads in this, as they see it, more profitable sector. They are investing in new equipment, much of which they already have contracts already in place for. Overall the figures contribute to an unhappy year so far which has seen overall profits for the nine month to date, down around 74% against last year. Shares on the Bombay Stock Exchange at close Friday were slightly up at Rs285.30.