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Rickmers posts 35.4pc first half profit increase to US$152.2 million

MAJOR ship charterer Rickmers Group posted a 35.4 per cent rise in first half operating profit to EUR137.4 million (US$152.2 million), drawn on revenues of EUR289.6 million, which increased 6.6 per cent year on year.

Rickmers posts 35.4pc first half profit increase to US$152.2 million
22 August 2015 - 08:43

Rickmers posts 35.4pc first half profit increase to US$152.2 million

MAJOR ship charterer Rickmers Group posted a 35.4 per cent rise in first half operating profit to EUR137.4 million (US$152.2 million), drawn on revenues of EUR289.6 million, which increased 6.6 per cent year on year.

Underpinning the growth in earnings were cost management measures, especially in the Rickmers-Linie segment as well as exchange-rate effects due to appreciation of the US dollar, said the company statement.

"Group profit rose, despite extraordinary charges - also due to the change of corporate form - from EUR1 million in the previous year EUR2.6 million in the reporting period now closed," said the statement. 

In view of this, as well as the group's positive operative development, the rating agency Credit reform raised its assessment of the company from CCC to B- as early as April 2015, it said.

"Despite the continued difficult market environment, we consistently pursued our growth plans in the last six months and made important investments, for example in three energy-efficient large containerships, each with a capacity of 9,300 TEU. 

These ships are to be delivered by the end of the first quarter of 2016 and are on long-term charter to CMA CGM. 

Equally important for us as investing in new ships is boosting the energy efficiency of our existing tonnage. 

The company attributed the increase to cost management at Rickmers-Linie, and favourable exchange rate effects following the rise in the value of the dollar. 

"For the remainder of the current financial year Rickmers Group management foresees a persistently challenging market environment, despite an upwards trend in container-freight volumes and a slow recovery in charter rates," the company said. 

The company also said it would benefit from the rise of the dollar versus the euro and from a turnaround at its breakbulk and heavy-lift unit, Rickmers-Linie said it was raising its forecast for the year, predicting a consolidated result that is expected to come in "only slightly higher than in 2014". 

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