Continued Success for WW

Friday, July 29, 2005
Continued progress characterized results for Wilh. Wilhelmsen ASA (WW) in the first half of 2005. The group has never delivered such high quarterly figures, including an operating income of $511 million in 2Q 2005 (vs. $452 million in 2Q 2004). WW's net operating profit for the second quarter was $72 million, an improvement of $15 million from the same period of 2004. Profit before tax for the quarter came to $64 million, compared with $51 million for April-June last year. "We are very satisfied with this development," says WW chief executive Ingar Skaug. The first half of 2005 yielded a total operating income of $986 million, compared with $874 million for the same period of last year. Profit before tax for the first half came to $136 million as against $80 million for the same period of 2004. Shipment of cars, high and heavy cargoes and non-containerized cargoes made the biggest contribution to the record results. Operational efficiency improvements at WW's subsidiaries and greater cooperation between these companies also contributed. "The market looks strong for the time to come," said Skaug. "We still have areas where we can do better within operations and in taking advantage of synergies between the companies, as well as with phasing in new and better tonnage. This gives us room for further improvement in results and makes us more robust." WW's three principal activities are shipping, logistics and maritime services. In line with its ambition of developing the Wilhelmsen Maritime Services (WMS) subsidiary to play a leading role in this sector, WW recently acquired the listed Norwegian company Unitor. The purchase price for all the Unitor shares will be just over NOK 1.4 billion.
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