Dutch shipping and tank storage firm Vopak NV reported
that its ordinary net profit fell by 5.3 percent in 1999, but said it expected improvements this year. Net profit from ordinary activities fell to $163.2 million, from $174.4 million in 1998, roughly in line with analysts' forecasts and earlier indications from the company of a five to 10 percent drop.
The weakness was largely due to a drop in earnings at Tanker Shipping
as excess capacity pressured rates. Total group net profits fell to $105. 3 million from $170 million, after $51.7 million of one-off charges mostly related to last year's merger.
Vopak, the world's largest oil and chemical storage firm
, was formed last year through the combination of Dutch rivals Van Ommeren and Pakhoed. This year, it said, its performance would improve in all corporate units.