Wilh. Wilhelmsen’s Profit Jumps despite Challenging Markets

Norway-based maritime industry group Wilh. Wilhelmsen Holding ASA recorded a slight improvement in top line in the first quarter, despite challenging markets.

In the first quarter, the total income for the Wilhelmsen group was USD 211 million, a 3% increase from USD 205 million reported in the previous quarter, supported by stable or higher operating revenue within all three reporting segments.

The company’s net profit surged by 280% to USD 142 million from USD 37 million seen in the quarter ended December 31, 2017.

The group’s EBITDA rose 12%, totalling USD 15 million, as compared to USD 14 million reported in the fourth quarter of 2017, mainly due to reduced corporate costs in the maritime services segment. The company said that the challenging markets “continue to curb the upswing in operating performance.”

“Despite a 3% increase in total income and strong increase in net profit, we are not satisfied with the underlying performance in our operating companies,” Thomas Wilhelmsen, group CEO of Wilhelmsen, said, adding that with continued challenging markets, “we need to intensify emphasis on operational efficiency and cost.”

“On a more positive note, we see new opportunities arise. The last few months we have secured an exciting new contract with TenneT, enabling us to get a firmer position in the offshore wind market. We have also launched the world’s first autonomous shipping company, Massterly, together with Kongsberg Group,” Wilhelmsen said.

“Building on our financial robustness and solid balance sheet, we will continue to look for profitable and sustainable opportunities,” Wilhelmsen added.

Given the group’s performance, the board will continue to focus on operational excellence, improved cash flow and financial robustness. Markets remain challenging, but the underlying sentiments for the group’s businesses are positive.

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