31 August 2007 08:20 [Source: ICIS news]
MUMBAI (ICIS news)--Vopak posted a 31% year-on-year rise in first-half operating profits, excluding exceptional items, to €139.4m ($190.9m) as demand for storage services continued to be high in all markets, the company said on Friday.
"All divisions contributed to the improvement in the group operating profit," the Dutch liquid and gaseous chemical and oil products logistics firm said.
The company’s operating income increased 13.3% to €436m during the period.
The company’s strategic focus on growth, both in existing businesses and in grass-roots terminal development helped boost its operating income, it said.
"Vopak will add more than 2.3m cubic metres in storage capacity worldwide during 2007 and 2008, including the expansion in Zhangjiagang in China," it said.
"The company commissioned a new terminal at Zhangjiagang, with a storage capacity of 124,600 cubic metres in June," it added.
Vopak’s net profits surged 63.8% year on year during the first half of 2007 to €100.7m due to a non-recurring gain from the release of a tax provision in Singapore of €3m and relatively lower finance costs.
"The lower dollar exchange rate had a favourable effect on finance costs and a relatively larger portion of the interest was allocated to projects under construction," the company said.
"Demand for storage services continues to be high and this offers attractive opportunities for growth in several parts of the world," company chairman John Paul Broeders said.
The company’s projects at Botlek in the Netherlands and at Alemoa in Brazil, with a total capacity of 190,000 cubic metres, were approved for commissioning in 2009, he added.
"Barring unforeseen circumstances and taking into account the cost of implementing strategic initiatives, Vopak expect its group operating profit excluding exceptional items to rise by about 20% in 2007 from €220.90m in 2006," the company said.
($1 = €0.73)
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