Shipping services group Clarksons has released its Interim Management Statement published in accordance with the UK Listing Authority's Disclosure and Transparency Rules, for the period from 1, July 2013 to 6, November 2013. Excerpts as follows:
Clarksons trading has been encouraging over the period against global shipping markets which, although demonstrating some early signs of improvement still remain challenging. This is evidenced by the ClarkSea index which for the second half of 2013 to date was up 19% against the first half of the year and for the average of the year to date was flat against the same period in 2012. Trading in Q3 was up year on year.
The positive indicators of improvement in our markets highlighted at the half year have started to bear results and we have seen some improvement in rates and asset values.
Across our derivatives broking business, the improvement in rates has resulted in strong volumes. Whilst rates softened again towards the end of the third quarter, year to date losses in derivative broking have seen a notable improvement year on year.
Trading in our Port Services business has continued to be impacted by reduced grain exports as a result of the poor 2012 harvest and the decrease in activity of offshore oil and gas projects in the North Sea. However, trading across the rest of our support businesses have been in line with expectations.
On 1 November 2013, we announced the purchase of Gibb Tools, a leading specialist tool supplier to the industrial maritime and offshore sectors, for a maximum total consideration of £12.7m.
We continue to grow and develop the breadth and depth of our Research offer which underpins all of Clarkson's services and have seen an increase year on year in underlying revenue from research activities during the period.
Whilst the markets continue to be challenged, the recent improvement in rates demonstrates that as trading conditions improve, Clarksons has the right strategy, structure and teams in position to take full advantage of recovery and we remain confident in the outlook for the remainder of 2013 and the Board's expectations are unchanged.