A/S Steamship Co TORM (TORM), a shipping company specializing in the worldwide commercial operation of a fleet of tankers and bulk carriers, reported its results for the first nine months of 2003. Net profit for the third quarter 2003 was DKK 232 million ($35 million), including an unrealized gain on the Company's investment in Dampskibsselskabet "NORDEN" A/S; and net profit for the first nine months of 2003 was DKK 468 million ($70 million), including an unrealized gain on the NORDEN shares. Profit before depreciation was DKK 413 million ($62 million) for the first nine months of 2003, while profit before financial items was DKK 284 million ($42 million) for the first nine months of 2003.
Klaus Kjaerulff, TORM CEO, commented, "The results are very satisfactory and exceed significantly the original forecast at the beginning of the year."
As expected, freight rates in the product tanker segment fell towards the end of the third quarter 2003. Freight rates in the bulk segment increased considerably, but the effect of higher bulk rates was countered during the period by hedging contracts, which, however, were closed out in the fourth quarter of 2003.
As stated in an earlier announcement dated October 27, 2003, expectations for the full year net profit are maintained at DKK 320-345 million ($49-53 million, assuming an average USD/DKK exchange rate of 6.50 for the year), before any unrealized gain on the investment in Dampskibsselskabet "NORDEN" A/S. Including the unrealized gain on NORDEN the net profit is expected to be DKK 685-710 million ($105-109 million, assuming an average USD/DKK exchange rate of 6.50 for the year), subject to the year-end share price of NORDEN.
In October 2003, new EU regulations came into force barring single-hulled tankers from carrying heavy fuel-oil cargoes to and from Europe and banning single-hulled vessels more than 23 years old from Europea
n waters. The International Maritime Organization
(IMO), the United Nation's agency responsible for shipping, will meet in December 2003 to discuss the adoption of similar measures to speed up a phase-out of older tankers. TORM's entire fleet is double-hulled.