Clipper Group A/S has released its annual report for 2016. Operating profit increased from 6 to 10 million USD due to increased activity levels. However, net result was negatively impacted by unrealized exchange rate loss and ended as a deficit of 13 million USD, succeeding the positive results from 2014 and 2015. Net revenue of 221 million USD was higher than in 2015, and the equity ratio was further strengthened to 45%.

CLIPPER’s Danish business: Increased operating profit with negative impact from unrealized exchange rate loss
Caption: Passenger/Ro-Ro Cargo Ship POVL ANKER - Image courtesy of Wolfgang Berthel

Clipper Group A/S is the Danish subsidiary of Clipper Group Ltd. The primary activities of the Danish subsidiary are ro-ro activities on the Irish Sea (Seatruck Ferries) and ferry services in Denmark (Danske Færger), as well as technical management of vessels (Clipper Fleet Management). The majority of Clipper Group’s core business activities within dry bulk is situated in Clipper Group Ltd, and therefore not included in this annual report.

“The underlying business, activity level and operating profit of Clipper Group A/S is strong, and both Seatruck and Danske Færger have performed exceptionally well in 2016 with significantly more freight and passengers transported than in 2015,” says Flemming Steen, CFO of Clipper Group. “The net result deficit of 13 million USD is mainly due to unrealized exchange rate loss on EUR loans and loss on the sale of two ferries.”

Caption: Passenger/Ro-Ro Cargo Ship LEONORA CHRISTINA - Image courtesy of Jan van der Pluijm

For the last few years, Seatruck has kept breaking volume records, and 2016 was no exception. The number of transported units increased by no less than 18.7% compared to 2015, and Seatruck took an 18% share of the Irish Sea ro-ro freight traffic. Whereas Brexit has had negative influence on Seatruck in 2016 in terms of unrealized currency loss, it has not influenced volumes.

Compared to 2015, traffic increased on all Danske Færger’s seven routes in 2016, in total by 6.3% on cars and 3.6% on passengers.

In 2016, Danske Færger won the concession to operate the Langeland (Spodsbjerg-Tårs) route until 2028. This route has been in continuous growth since 2012. In 2016, it was also announced that Mols-Linien won the tender for the Bornholm concession as of September 1, 2018.

Following this change, Danske Færger sold two of the four vessels serving Bornholm (‘Povl Anker’ and ‘Leonora Christina’), both vessels being chartered back on bareboat to Danske Færger until end of August 2018.

A glance at Clipper’s core business: the international dry bulk market

Clipper Group A/S is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Clipper Group Ltd., whose core business area is dry bulk shipping. Clipper Group Ltd. is incorporated in the Bahamas but with headquarter in Denmark and subject to full Danish taxation. Clipper Group Ltd. does not publish its annual report.

Flemming Steen comments on Clipper’s dry bulk activities: “The activity level in our bulk business grew substantially during 2016, both when measured in number of vessel days, number of vessels operated by Clipper and number of vessels in our pools. In terms of rate levels, 2016 was a difficult year for the industry, but the market improved significantly during the last months of the year, and this development continued in 2017.”