Monday, April 27, 2015

Middle East Container Freight, Transport and Logistics Group Turns in Figures

Q1 Profits Up for First Qatari Company
Shipping News Feature

QATAR – The name Milaha will be unfamiliar to many readers but the group encapsulates many subsidiaries relevant to the world of freight transport. In fact the company was established in July 1957 as the first public shareholding company registered in Qatar and holds commercial registration no. 1. Milaha’s current activities include marine transportation in gas, petroleum products, containers and bulk; offshore support services; port management and operations; logistics services; shipyard; trading agencies; real estate investments and asset management.

Milaha has released financial results for the first quarter of 2015 which show operating revenues increase 12% quarter over quarter against 2014 to QR 786 million ($216 million). Operating profit was up 2% to QR 279 million and net profit 4% to QR 365 million ($100 million).

Strong year on year growth in the core businesses more than offset a decline in the returns from Milaha’s investment portfolio. Each of Milaha’s core segments, Maritime & Logistics, Gas & Petrochem and Offshore, improved their combined bottom line by 71% relative to Q1 2014 whilst continued strong growth in trade volumes, driven by the ramp up in project activity in Qatar, resulted in a 25% increase in revenue and 175% increase in net profit for Milaha Maritime & Logistics, with a positive impact on Port Services and Container Shipping units in particular.

Milaha Gas & Petrochem’s revenue grew by 39% and its net profit by 45%, on the back of stronger performance in its fully owned and operated product tanker and gas carriers, as well as higher VLGC rates relative to Q1 2014. In addition, the segment benefited from the full year effect of 19 harbour vessels, some of which were received through mid year 2014 whilst Milaha Offshore improved significantly from Q1 2014 despite weaker market conditions driven by the steep decline in oil prices and the cutbacks on capital spending by oil majors in the region and beyond. Sheikh Ali bin Jassim Al Thani, Chairman of Milaha commented:

“We are very pleased to have started 2015 so strongly overall. And while we hope to maintain the momentum, we know that general market conditions for our offshore segment are weakening, and that our capital segment is heavily tied to uncertainties in the local equity market. It will be a challenging year.”

Photo: The first direct container shipping service between Qatar and India saw Milaha welcome the arrival of MV Convent on its maiden voyage from Nhava Sheva port in Mumbai, India to Doha Port in Qatar.