Strong results from Wilh. Wilhelmsen Holding ASA

Wilh. Wilhelmsen Holding ASA (WWH) delivered a strong third quarter following improved performance in the group’s shipping investments and sales gain related to restructuring of investments in Australia.

The operating profit for WWH amounted to USD 175.0 million for the third quarter of 2011, up 135.5% from the third quarter of 2010 (USD 74.3 million). The third quarter result included a USD 70.4 million gain on sale of Qube/Kaplan related Australian logistics investments in exchange for 88 million shares in Qube Logistics. Excluding the sale gains, the operating profit increased by USD 30.3 million or 40.8% year over year. Total income increased by 33.6% and ended at 953.8 million (USD 714.1 million).

“The strong third quarter, excluding the sales gains, is mainly related to improved performance in Wilh. Wilhelmsen ASA (WWASA),”“says Thomas Wilhelmsen, group CEO at WWH. “Strong volume growth in main trades on a year-over-year basis combined with improved cargo mix, high fleet utilisation and operational efficiency lifted both earnings and profit for WWASA.”

“Our maritime service segment experienced a healthy growth in total income compared to the third quarter of 2010, but lower USD and increased costs put pressure on the segment’s operating margin and had a negative effect on operating profit,” says Wilhelmsen. “Operating profit and margin is expected to improve following implementation of an ongoing profit improvement programme.”

Net profit after tax and minority for the group ended at USD 89.0 million for the quarter (loss of USD 27.8 million).

WWH paid a NOK 3.50 dividend per share in May. The board of directors proposes a second dividend of NOK 2.00 per share to be paid in December, subject to approval by shareholders at an extraordinary general meeting scheduled 6 December.   

The group has a diversified portfolio and is well positioned to operate in a competitive environment. The board of directors of WWH expects the positive results for the group to continue into 2012, but a turbulent financial market and anticipated reduced global growth are assumed to have an impact on the group’s performance.