Wilhelm Wilhelmsen books deficit of 74 million dollar

Norwegian shipping company Wilhelm Wilhelmsen has booked a loss of 74 million dollar in 2018, as the preliminary annual figures show. ‘The value of our investments took a beating in the fourth quarter’, says Group CEO Thomas Wilhelmsen.

The company did see a strong increase in sales. Total revenue grew from 793 million in 2017 to 871 million last year. Like for like operational sales grew with 37% in 2018 from 632 to 867 million dollar, as the 2017 result  included sales of assets with a net worth of 161 million dollar. The operational result (ebitda) ended at 78 million dollars for 2018.

Despite the growth in turnover the company was hit with a deficit, mainly due to depreciation of assets and affiliates. Net result showed a loss of 74 million dollar.

Wilhelm Wilhelmsen’s business portfolio is divided into two segments. The maritime services (ship service and ship management) and the supply service (ocean transport services).

Wilhelm Wilhelmsen through its affiliates and joint ventures (Wallenius Wilhelmsen, Eukor and United European Car Carriers) operates a large fleet of car carriers for the transport of vehicles, breakbulk and project cargo.

Fourth quarter

The fourth quarter of last year was a tough one, says Wilhelm Wilhelmsen. ‘It ended at a net loss due to a substantial change in fair value evaluation of the group’s investments.’

‘The underlying performance was stable in a continued challenging market. With activity levels on par with the previous quarter in ship service and ship management, the seasonally lower activity level in the offshore sector was offset by delivering logistics services to the NATO exercise Trident Juncture.’

The EBITDA ended at USD 29 million, down 12% from the previous quarter. A positive development in the maritime service segment was not enough to make up for reduced EBITDA in the supply service segment.

‘The value of our investments took a beating in the quarter, leaving us with a net loss of USD 40 million’, says Wilhelmsen.

Outlook

For 2019 the company says the market prospects call for a cautious outlook. ‘The beginning of 2019 has so far shown an uplift in valuation of listed entities and 2019 will be characterised by initiatives to strengthen profitability in all of our companies.’

Author: Tobias Pieffers

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