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Record year for Wilh. Wilhelmsen, but future uncertain
Wednesday, 18 February 2009 09:38

Norway: The Wilh. Wilhelmsen (WW) maritime industry group has reported a record US$3.4 billion operating income in 2008, up over 25 percent compared with 2007.

The operating income for the year totalled US$3.43 billion, compared with US$2.73 billion in 2007. Net operating profit came to US$351.6 million, compared with US$265.7 million.

CEO Ingar Skaug said that cargo volumes for the fourth quarter declined when compared with the same period in 2007 and that the company expected further declines in car volumes for 2009. He added that uncertainty regarding cancellations and delays at shipyards posed a risk for the company. Despite this, Mr Skaug said that Wilh. Wilhelmsen would not amend its newbuilding order book. WW has the option to return 30 chartered vessels this year, which means that making cuts to newbuild orders would be unnecessary.

“We have secured financing for the bulk of our newbuildings being delivered up to 2011. Only one of those vessels is not financed,” he revealed. WW will operate nine of the newbuilds it has on order, while 17 will join Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics and 15 will join Eukor.

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