Clarksons predicts challenging market conditions in 2012
Saturday, 12 May 2012 | 00:00
Clarksons, the world’s leading shipping services group, Friday announced its Interim Management Statement published in accordance with the UK Listing Authority's Disclosure and Transparency Rules, for the period from 1 January 2012 to 10 May 2012 (“the period”).At the Annual General Meeting to be held in London today, Bob Benton, Chairman of Clarksons, will make the following statement: Trading The shipping markets remain
very challenging. Freight rates in many sectors have been weak reflecting the continued demand/supply imbalance previously highlighted in our market updates.
Low asset values and the lack of available debt are further impacting the market.
However, Clarksons’ performance during the period is in line with the Board’s expectations. Our strategy to provide unrivalled levels of client service globally, across all shipping markets, has meant that we not only continue to optimise our position in each of these markets, but also benefit wherever there is improvement.
The Group has again increased market share, with higher transaction volumes going some way to help mitigate the fall in freight rates. The weakening of the US dollar against Sterling since the beginning of the year will, if sustained, impact reported revenues. Spot business remains prevalent as it has since the turmoil of late 2008.
Clarkson Capital Markets is currently working to complete a number of active mandates, and the team has been further strengthened by several key hires in the period.
Our port and agency activities have started the year well. The successful integration of Clarkson Port Services and EnShips, acquired at the end of 2011, has given rise to an increase in both revenue and the number of clients which we service.
Research is at the heart of all Clarksons’ services and we continue to grow the breadth and depth of our offer. Revenue from research activities has increased in the period, as quality and in-depth information become ever more valuable to our clients in challenging markets.
As announced on 8 March 2012, during the period H. Clarkson & Co Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary, reached a full and final settlement of certain legal matters with Mr Nikitin and a number of corporate entities. Under the terms of the settlement, an amount of USD 7m was received which will be accounted for as an exceptional item in the Group’s accounts for the current financial year, ended 31 December 2012.
As announced on 8 March 2012 Martin Stopford retired as an executive director of Clarkson PLC. Also as announced on 10 February 2012 Paul Wogan resigned as a non-executive director of Clarkson PLC in order to dedicate himself to his new executive role at GasLog. The Board is currently undergoing a search process to recruit a replacement for him.
Balance Sheet The group remains cash generative. The strength of our balance sheet together with increased net funds provides us with the flexibility to take full advantage of any opportunities which may emerge.
Continued economic uncertainty combined with the demand/supply imbalance across most markets creates a challenging backdrop to 2012.
However, our business model has demonstrated itself to be robust in this environment and we continue to benefit from increased trading volumes. Our market leadership, with industry leading research at its core, proven strategy and strong balance sheet position us well for the future.
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