Braemar Shipping Services plc today (Thursday) issued an interim management statement showing improved overall performance in the three months since the group’s interim results in October.
During the last quarter, activity in the Shipbroking division increased. The group has seen good levels of spot chartering business particularly in deep sea tankers and in capesize bulk carriers. The specialised tanker chartering desks are also performing well, having secured long term contract business and good prospects of increasing their transaction volumes in the new financial year, beginning March 1st.
The second hand sale and purchase and demolition business has been more active than in the summer, stimulated by the fall in the value of middle-aged ships in most sectors. Overall, Braemar said its markets are entering a new phase where principals are adjusting their operations to fit market conditions, and this greater certainty should be positive.
The company said it was making good progress in bringing its technical businesses together as a single unit, trading as Braemar Technical Services. There are already clear signs of much closer interaction within the division and when full integration is achieved, the engineering and surveying teams will be deployed more efficiently. Braemar’s marketing capability in the Far East, Europe and North America will thereby be enhanced. In recent months, the company has won several important new engineering projects and the level of surveying appointments has also been encouraging.
The Logistics division has also been performing well. Ship agency is making substantial inroads in the highly-competitive UK market and continues to grow in Singapore. The freight and project forwarding arm is continuing to expand its customer base and is delivering improved results. The cruise ship agency and tours business had a reasonable summer in 2011 and bookings for 2012 have been strong on the back of the London Olympics.
The Environmental division, which specialises in dealing with oil, chemical and marine pollution incidents, has been engaged in the salvage, processing and cleaning of the containers from the vessel Rena which ran aground off New Zealand in October last year. The salvage work will continue well into 2012. The Braemar team is made up of personnel from the Environmental and Technical divisions who fulfilled a similar role in respect of the MSC Napoli off the coast of Devon in 2007.
All of the group’s divisions have been busy over the past three months with the overall performance of the group showing an improvement compared with the earlier quarters of this financial year.