Norwegian shipping group Leif Hoegh & Co. last Wednesday forecast continued gains in operating profits in 2000 after a leap in the first quarter. Operating profits rose to $16.79 million in the three months to March 31 from $9.26 million in the same period of 1999. Leif Hoegh swung to a net profit of $6.22 million from a loss of $41.53 million.
Norwegian shipping group Leif Hoegh said its improvement in operating profit - from $56.6 million from $22.9 million the previous year - was largely a result of investments in Hoegh Ugland Auto Liners (HUAL) and contract shipping in the form of gas and dry bulk and reefer vessels. "LHC expects global growth in 2001, which at the outset will dampen the demand growth in several segments in which LHC is involved," it said.
Norway's Leif Hoegh said that Unicool -- its fully owned unit -- sold three reefers for a total of just over $27 million. The sales prices was close to the book value, Leif Hoegh said in a statement to the Oslo bourse. It said Unicool had sold the vessels Baltic Spirit, built in 1986, Lincoln Spirit, built in 1987 and Tasman Spirit from 1988.
Leif Hoegh & Co., who owns 49.8 percent of Unicool, has signed an agreement to purchase the 50 percent shareholding in the company owned by South African Marine Corp., effective early January 2000. Unicool, through its two subsidiaries Cool Carriers and Arctic Reefers, is a worldwide operator of reefers with a fleet of 68 vessels, of which Unicool owns 16.
Norwegian shipping company Leif Hoegh forecast higher operating profits in 2000. The company reported an operating profit of $23.2 million in 1999, down from $70.97 million in 1998. It said that profits would be lifted by the consolidation of the Hual car carrier division into its accounts, by its reefer unit Unicool, as well as by improvements in other areas. The company also said that it was proposing a 450 million crowns capital expansion
Leif Hoegh & Co. ASA announced plans to buy the remaining 50 percent of reefer operator Unicool, in which it already holds a 49.8 percent stake. Final negotiations for the deal re expected to take place next week. The price of the deal is to remain confidential, officials said. Unicool is the world's biggest operator of refrigerated ships and has 68 vessels.
Norwegian shipping group Leif Hoegh forecast higher operating profit in 2001, helped by a larger RoRo vehicle transport fleet, after a smaller-than-expected 59 percent jump in the first quarter. "After a slow start to the year for the Ro/Ro and reefer segments, the markets picked up in March, a trend which has continued into the second quarter," the company said. "The operating profit, excluding sales gain or loss, is expected to increase from last year through (the) larger RoRo fleet
J. Lauritzen bought Cool Carriers AB for $35.4 million from Norwegian shipping group Leif Hoegh & Co. ASA, a step in consolidation of the reefer vessel market. "The acquisition will be financed through a capital injection of 215 million crowns ($25.5 million) from the parent company J. Lauritzen Holding," it said. Reefer vessels are equipped with refrigeration facilities to transport perishable foodstuffs. The takeover of the Swedish-based group, effective January 1, 2001
Leif Hoegh and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, have entered an agreement with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., for the construction of a 145,000 cubic meter LNG carrier. An agreement was also made with Statoil on behalf of the Snoehvit field partners (excluding TotalfinaElf and Gaz de France) for the chartering of the vessel for 20 years plus two 5- year options. The vessel specification is high both for operation in North Atlantic waters and to meet strict safety and environmental requirements
While Norway's Leif Hoegh reported a net loss for the first nine months of the year, it projects a break-even 1999. The firm reported a net loss of 37 million crowns against a 327 million profit in 1998. It said it had a pre-tax loss of 72 million crowns in January to September against a profit of 347 million in the same period of 1998. The company said that its results were depressed mainly by losses on the sale of shares in shipping firm Bona
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