Wilh. Wilhelmsen Holding (WWH) reported a significant increase in operating profit, primarily driven by a USD 80 million non-recurring gain from logistics activities. The group’s shipping activities and maritime services segment recorded a softer quarter.
WWH delivered a total income of USD 848 million, while the operating profit ended at USD 143 million. When adjusting for non-recurring items, the total income and operating profit was down 3% and 32% quarter on quarter, indicating weaker underlying performance for the group in total.
“Our logistics segment was positively impacted by a non-recurring gain of USD 80 million related to an acquisition of Vehicle Services Americas and CAT-WWL in South Africa during the quarter. In addition, a rebound in contribution from Hyundai Glovis also helped improve our figures in first quarter,” says Thomas Wilhelmsen, group CEO at WWH.
“However, the shipping segment saw a sharp decline in seaborne transportation. Auto volumes dropped 21%, while high and heavy volumes increased 2% from a weak fourth quarter. The continued suboptimal trade mix also had a negative impact on results,” says Wilhelmsen.
The maritime services segment delivered a soft first quarter, partly driven by seasonality. The total income and operating profit fell by 11% and 50% respectively compared with the fourth quarter.
Explaining the reduced contribution from maritime services, Mr Wilhelmsen explains that: “The challenging shipping markets continuous impacts ship owners’ purchasing capabilities and as such demand for certain maritime services. In addition, the ships service area was impacted by the implementation of a new global ERP platform. The system performance and usage is improving day-by-day, and we expect this to stabilise during the second quarter.”
The annual general meeting held 3 May 2016 approved a dividend of NOK 3.00 per share to be paid on or about 13 May. The general meeting also authorised the board to declare further dividend of up to NOK 3.00 per share.
“Volume growth for our car and ro-ro services is expected to remain weak. With new investments in land-based services, the contribution from the logistics segment will continue to grow. We expect the challenging shipping and offshore markets to continue to affect parts of the maritime services portfolio. All in all, we expect the underlying business in the second quarter to be in line with the first quarter,” says Wilhelmsen when describing the outlook for the group.