Brightoil Petroleum (Holdings) Limited, the largest service provider of marine bunkering in Shenzhen Port and its surrounding areas, announced its interim results as at 31 December 2008.
For the six months ended 31 December 2008, the group's revenue surged to HK$2,942,195,000, representing a skyrocketing increase of approximately 237 times as compared to the corresponding period last year. Gross profit posted a year-on-year growth of 1,528% from HK$12,004,000 to HK$195,444,000. Profit attributable to shareholders went up significantly by 232% to approximately HK$168,082,000 and earnings per share jumped by 229% to 13.8 HK cents when compared to the same period of the previous year. As at 31 December 2008, the Group enjoyed a sound financial status and was in net cash position without liability. Net asset value per share also soared from HK$0.59 to HK$0.73, 22.4% up over the same period last year, reflecting the robust growth of the Group. Under the challenging economic conditions, the management remains confident of the future and recommended an interim dividend of 3 HK cents in order to reward the investors.
The Group underwent successful business transformation and is currently engaged in marine bunkering business after being acquired by Energy Empire Investments Limited and Canada Foundation Limited in June 2008. Its marine bunkering business performed strikingly with a sales volume of approximately 824,000 tonnes and recorded a revenue of HK$2,942,195,000 during the period under review. To put into action of the expansion plan of the marine bunkering and related logistics businesses, the Group announced in July 2008 its investment of approximately US$11,600,000 in a 7,100-DWT bunker barge, "Brightoil 668", the largest bunker barge for marine bunkering in Hong Kong registered in the section of "Local Vessels Certification and Licensing" of Hong Kong Marine Department. The bunker tanker, which is expected to be in commission in March 2009, will serve as one of the key growth drivers of the Group in marine bunkering business.
Commenting on the Group's remarkable results, the Group's Chairman and President Dr. Sit Kwong Lam said, "The Group's marine bunkering business in Hong Kong, Shenzhen Port and its surrounding areas showed a satisfactory growth. The Group has secured swiftly the leading market position since the initial stage by capitalizing on its predominance in capital, flexible marketing strategies, extensive sales network, experienced management team and unparalleled market share. With these competitive edges, the Group will capture every opportunity arising from the market and speed up expanding beyond our existing strongholds to reach ports in the Yangtze River Delta and northern China, so as to establish nationwide chain operation of marine bunkering service."
There is tremendous growth potential of marine bunkering market. As for China's market, it is expected that container throughput of ports in Pearl River Delta will reach 40 million TEUs by 2012. Among the top 10 largest ports in the world in terms of container throughput, six of them, i.e. Hong Kong, Shanghai Port, Shenzhen Port, Zhoushan Port in Ningbo and Qingdao Port, are in China. The rapid development of Tianjin Economic Technological Development Area and Beibu Bay also shows the huge potential demand in marine bunkering service in China. As only a handful of large companies boasting sophisticated marine bunkering systems are available, Brightoil Petroleum stands out in the industry and is well established to capture this exceptional opportunity. As for global market, the supply of fuel oil to global ports and vessels in 2008 amounted to over 120 million tonnes, symbolizing the existence of a huge room for the Group's development.
The Group expects that the contribution by marine bunkering and related logistics businesses will gradually increase. As one of strategic moves for the Group's business development, it will expand its marine bunkering service to Shanghai Port, Zhoushan Port in Ningbo and other major ports in Yangtze River Delta, and develop a marine bunkering network in Bohai Rim in the short run.
With a view to developing oil storage, wharf and related ancillary facilities, the Group entered into an agreement on 8 January 2009 with two independent third parties to form a joint venture company. The joint venture company will be engaged in the development of wharfs (with six 3,000-DWT berths at the initial stage and will contemplate building one 300,000-DWT and one 100,000-DWT berths in the future) and related ancillary facilities for the provision of logistics services such as loading, trans-shipment and distribution services related to petroleum products.
Moreover, on 19 February 2009, the Group had also signed an agreement for the acquisition of the land use rights of three pieces of land located in Nan Ao Cun, Cezi Xiang, Dinghai District, Zhoushan City, Zhejiang Province, the PRC. Covering a total of approximately 112,000 square meters, the pieces of land are designated for the development of oil storage facilities related to petroleum products and establishment of the strategic presence in a bid to expand to main ports in Yangtze River Delta and Bohai Rim in the PRC by optimizing the geographic advantage of Zhoushan City in Zhejiang Province. It also offers strong aid for the Group to develop the nationwide chain network of marine bunkering service and enhance the competitiveness of the Group in the market.
Dr. Sit concluded, "In the near future, the Group is aiming to become a global player and bring its marine bunkering service to the world stage after it has built the foundation of a nationwide chain business of marine bunkering in China. The Group will gradually increase its exposure in major refueling ports in the world, with the Greater China region being the first target, followed by the Asian region. It will develop into a chain service provider of marine bunkering for international ports as well as a leading player in the market. Looking ahead, riding on its solid foundation the Group will proactively expand to upstream and downstream segments and related business, which cover oil storage facilities, wharfs and oil transportation as well as oil and gas exploration and exploitation, in a bid to enlarge operation scale and underpin its market position. Meanwhile, the Group is also keenly seeking opportunities of oil and gas exploration and exploitation and business development with an aim to create synergy by involving different segments of the supply chain. We are dedicated to developing a chain network of marine bunkering services in the Greater China region and around the globe. Brightoil Petroleum is well poised to bloom in the international petroleum market and become a highly integrated international petroleum conglomerate."