LONDON (Alliance News) - Ocean Wilsons Holdings Ltd Friday said that first-half pretax profit increased by more than two-thirds, driven up by a significant gain from its portfolio of trading investments, and the appreciation of the Brazilian real against the dollar, but its operating performance was hit by lower revenue amongst a number of other factors.
In a statement, Ocean Wilsons, which operates as a maritime services company in Brazil through a subsidiary, while also acting as the holding company of a Bermuda-based investment company, said it made a USD57.6 million pretax profit in the six months ended June 30, compared with USD34.5 million in the corresponding period last year.
Investment revenue, which is separate from the company's operating performance, fell by USD1.4 million to USD7.1 million due to lower interest on bank deposits and dividends from equity investments, but this was more than offset by the trading investments gain of USD7.3 million, the decrease in finance costs to USD2.0 million from USD11.7 million due to gains on borrowings in non-reporting currencies, and a USD21.9 million increase in foreign exchange gains on monetary items.
However, operating profit was down 32% to USD34.3 million, primarily due to the non-repeat of a USD9.8 million profit on the disposal of property plant and equipment in the corresponding period last year. This included the sale of surplus commercial real estate in downtown Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.
In addition, depreciation and amortisation in the period increased by USD3.9 million to USD31.7 million, due to investments undertaken by the group.
But operating performance was also hit by revenue falling by 2% to USD299.9 million, as an increase in towage and ship agency revenue was more than offset by falling maritime services revenue, and weaker results from its shipyard and logistics business. Ocean Wilsons also reported an 11% increase to USD39.8 million in raw materials and consumables used.
"The order book at our shipyard remains healthy with two OSRVs (oil spill response vessel), two PSVs for our offshore joint venture and nine tugboats for our towage business. The Fugro ROVSV (remotely operated vehicle support vessel) is forecast to be delivered in the second half of 2014. Civil works at Brasco Caju will continue through 2014 and are forecast for completion in 2015," Chairman JosÉ Francisco GouvÊa Vieira said in a statement.
Ocean Wilsons did not pay an interim dividend, in line with a decision outlined in its 2012 annual report.
Ocean Wilsons shares were Friday quoted 1.1% lower at 1,187.00 pence.