The Bergesen group generated first-quarter operating profit of $25.6 million, substantially down on the $104.3 million recorded last year. These figures include capital gains on the sale of vessels of $ 10.4 million in 2002 and $7.2 million in 2001.
Freight income on a T/C basis totalled $114.5 million, compared with $ 196.9 million in 2001.
The accounts show net financial income of $5.2 million after a $3.1 million reversal of previous write-downs of shares and net foreign exchange gains of $4.5 million..
Profit before tax came to $30.8 million, compared with $79.7 million last year.
The interim accounts have been prepared using the same accounting policies as the annual accounts for 2001.
Bergesen has decided to stop reporting value-adjusted equity figures. The reason for this is that, following its heavy investment in LNG shipping and offshore production, the company will be generating a far greater proportion of its future earnings from long-term contracts. The company also has a substantial portfolio of long-term dry bulk contracts, and representative transactions that can form the basis of an assessment of the likely saleable value of the company's gas carriers
are few and far between. In these circumstances, value-adjusted equity figures based on shipbrokers' valuations of the vessels in the fleet on a charter-free basis will be of limited relevance.
The operation of the fleet was satisfactory during the first quarter. Besides scheduled maintenance there was no significant technical off-hire in the fleet. Six vessels were drydocked for periodic maintenance in the first quarter.