Norway’s Wilh. Wilhelmsen ASA (WWASA), which through various subsidiaries is a 50-50 owner of the roll-on/roll-off carrier Wallenius Wilhelmsen and U.S.-flag vessel operator American Roll-on Roll-off Carrier, said shipping volumes in the final quarter of the year were flat compared to third quarter 2012.
Sweden’s Wallenius Lines is Wilhelmsen’s partner in those companies.
Wilhelmsen said auto volumes grew while high and heavy cargo volumes continued to slide. Wilhelmsen has about 70 direct- and indirect-owned subsidiaries, joint ventures and associated companies including stakes in Eukor Car Carriers, Hyundai Glovis, and Norwegian Car Carriers.
It said its U.S.-flag operation recorded weak performance, while the logistics segment delivered stable earnings adjusted for seasonal variations. One new vessel was delivered to the group of companies; not for WWASA’s account.
Reporting its results in U.S. dollars, Wilhelmsen said in the fourth quarter it had operating profit of $81 million, 9 percent less than in the same 2011 period. Revenue was $659 million, about the same as the $670 million recorded in the same 20011 period.
For the full year, Wallenius said its operating profit was $547 million, 87 percent more than in 2011. Revenue income was $2.9, up 21 percent.
The company said its financial performance was positively impacted by a sales gain of $134 million in connection with a 2.5-percent reduction in its stake in Hyundai Glovis in the third quarter of 2012.
“Auto volumes picked up from the previous quarter, supported by stronger export volumes from Korea. High and heavy shipping volumes, healthy in the first half year, slipped in the third and fourth quarters. This had a negative impact on the group’s profitability but was somewhat offset by fleet optimization,” said Jan Eyvin Wang, president and chief executive officer of WWASA, in a statement.
“Our logistics segment is developing steadily, with an operating profit of $91 million, 15 percent up over last year,” he added.
The company said “global economic growth continues to be hampered by uncertainty. The board expects cargo volumes to remain soft during the early part of 2013. Long-term positive underlying growth potential for both cargo segments combined with a sound financial position gives WWASA a solid platform to gradually invest in fleet modernization and integrated land-based logistics services.” - Chris Dupin