This week's highlights in shipping

This week brings a series of interim reports from oil players such as Statoil and Dong, logistics giant DSV, as well as the expansive US/Monaco-based tanker carrier Scorpio Tankers.

Photo: North Atlantic Drilling

3rd quarter interim reports from Denmark and Norway's energy giants, a leading logistics group, a carrier that has been hit by the downturn in the bulk market, and American Scorpio Tankers, which holds the world's largest orderbook in product tanker and has already portended a third quarter deficit. These are just some of the highlights this week in shipping.

October 27th - Scorpio Tankers

Hyper-expansive US/Monaco-based tanker carrier Scorpio Tankers is holding the largest orderbook in the product tanker industry. The carrier's fleet consists of MR and LR2 ships as well as 13 ice-class Handymax vessels.

Scorpio Tankers announced already last week that the carrier expects a deficit in the 3rd quarter 2014, which ended on September 30. The company expects a loss in the range of 0.01 USD to 0.04 USD per share, and this deficit does not include a potential loss or deficit from the carrier's stake in gas carrier Dorian LPG.

The aggressive tanker carrier suffered a USD 9.4 million deficit in the first six months of the year, and a net deficit of USD 11.2 million in the 2nd quarter alone.

Norwegian analysts Fearnley gave the carrier a "buy" recommendation after the 2nd quarter, pointing to solid prospects for carriers that are well-placed in the product tanker market.

October 29th - Statoil

Norwegian oil giant Statoil saw its long-term CEO Helge Lund depart from the company a few weeks ago, as going forward - and for the largest salary package in European oil history - he will serve as CEO of British BG Group.

The company has performed massive cuts in costs as well as employees in recent times, and Statoil did finish the year's second quarter with an operating profit that was USD 370.8 million lower than in the same period last year. The oil company achieved an operating profit of USD 5.15 billion in the 2nd quarter 2014, while Statoil's result for the period came to USD 1.93 billion, up from USD 693.2 million in the same period 2013.

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"Statoil delivered solid operational performance in the quarter, with continued high production regularity on the Norwegian continental shelf and project execution according to plan. Our quarterly earnings were impacted by divestments, seasonal effects and lower gas prices," said Helge Lund after the 2nd quarter.

In the interim report, Helge Lund stressed that Statoil would continue its efforts to cut costs.

"In the quarter, we have announced a potential to reduce between 1100 and 1400 positions. Reductions of around 1000 positions in our staffs and support services are already implemented."

October 29th - DSV

The major logistics group continue to grow their seaborne freight business, and Danish DSV is no exception.

In the second quarter of the year, the logistics giant managed to surpass competitors such as DB Schenker, Panalpina and Kuehne+Nagel, as the Danish company realized a 9 percent increase in seaborne freight, compared to the same period 2013.

DSV's air & sea division achieved a revenue of USD 970.9 million in the 2nd quarter 2014, an improvement from USD 899.0 million in the same quarter last year. The division's growth profits came to USD 197.7 million, up from USD 195.9 million in the second quarter 2013.

Photo: Stine Bidstrup
Photo: Stine Bidstrup

The company maintained its full-year forecast for 2014, though specifying that the result of primary operations before special items was expected to be around USD 458.5 - 485.4 million, compared to previous expectations of USD 449.5 - 485.4 million.

October 30th - Western Bulk

Norwegian dry bulk carrier Western Bulk made it through the extremely low dry bulk market in the 2nd quarter with a modest profit, but the majority of this was caused by a one-off income of USD 12.7 million from the sale of a claim in bankrupt Korean carrier Pan Ocean.

The Korean dry bulk giant had canceled charter contracts with Western Bulk ahead of time, as was also the case with J. Lauritzen.

WB Chartering improved its net result, from USD 4.4 million in the 1st quarter this year to USD 5.7 million in the second quarter, while the WB Shipholding division - not including the Pan Ocean one-off item - suffered a USD 1.4 million deficit, compared to a deficit of USD 2.0 million in the previous quarter.

"We are pleased with an improved Net TC performance in Q2-14 in a very challenging market with rates currently at levels not seen since the financial crisis. However, we remain cautiously optimistic for the rate levels for the remainder of the year," said Western Bulk CEO Jens Ismar in the interim report.

October 31st - Dong Energy

Dong Energy continued at full throttle in the second quarter of the year.

The Danish state-owned oil and energy company achieved an operating profit, EBITDA, of USD 1.66 billion and a bottom line of USD 238.5 million.

Photo: Dong Energy
Photo: Dong Energy

The company also managed to reduce its debt to USD 1.09 billion. CEO Henrik Poulsen pointed to the company's wind and oil business, in particular, as primary growth engines.

Dong Energy maintained its full-year 2014 EBITDA forecast of USD 2.55 - 2.89 billion.

DSV marginally beats its competitors on seafreight

Scorpio Tankers in half-year deficit of USD 9.4 million

Ex-Statoil CEO sets a new European salary record 

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