WW Group Reports First 9 Months

Monday, November 03, 2008

WW Group Reports First 9 Months

The WW group, Wilh. Wilhelmsen, posted an operating profit of $217.6m for the first nine months of 2008, compared with $206.9m in 2007. Total operating income for the first nine months was $2.6b as against $2b for the same period of 2007. Profit before taxes came to $121.8m, compared with $190.8m.

Total operating income for the group in the third quarter of 2008 amounted to $866.6m, up 23% from $704.3m in 2007, while operating profit came to $83.1m compared with $85.4m last year. Group profit before tax and minority interests amounted to $40.5m, with a profit after tax and minorities of $37.6m, down from $78.8m and $74.8m from the corresponding quarter in 2007.

"Shipping cargo volumes have been strong and stable in the third quarter. This is also contributing to strong volumes for our logistics segment. Within maritime services we experienced high activity and we increased our market share," said Ingar Skaug, group CEO in Wilh. Wilhelmsen (WW).

"As the rest of the world, we are well aware of the present economical situation making it highly uncertain to predict the future. We are, however, positioned for adverse market developments through a large customer and cargo base, a global trade pattern and the flexibility to redeliver chartered vessels," said Skaug.

The WW Board intends to maintain the group's dividend policy. In spite of the ongoing financial turmoil, the WW Board proposes to pay a supplementary dividend of almost $.23 per share for the second half of 2008. An extraordinary general meeting will decide on this on 20 November. If the proposal is approved, WW will have paid $1.05 per share in dividend for 2008, including the payment of $.83 per share made in the first half.

WW's prospects for the fourth quarter still look favorable, therefore the WW Board believes that the WW group's operating profit for 2008 will exceed 2007. However, the outlook for 2009 is more uncertain due to the financial turmoil.


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