InterBulk focuses future expansion in high growth economies - CEO

14 June 2011 17:31  [Source: ICIS news]

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LONDON (ICIS)--InterBulk will focus on expanding its operations in the high growth regions of China, the Middle East and Russia following strong financial earnings for the first half of 2010, the CEO of the UK-based liquid and dry bulk materials logistics provider said on Tuesday.

Koert van Wissen said that Interbulk’s growth strategy clearly identifies high growth economies, particularly China's, as a major opportunity owing to their fast growing chemical production and consumption.

"As we are operating worldwide we think that the highest growth will be in emerging countries where we have our strategy ... we had a return to growth last year and in the first half of this year and our outlook is that we will grow further," van Wissen said.

As part of InterBulk's expansion plans, the company announced on 20 May the conditional placing of 165m new ordinary shares at 11 pence to China-based logistics major Sinotrans Logistics, which will raise £18.2m (€20.7m, $30.0m) of gross proceeds. Sinotrans will be a partner for the development of all of InterBulk's business activities in the Chinese and wider Asian markets, the CEO added.

"We have been working with Sinotrans Logistics for the last four years in an alliance for the chemical industry in China and their investment in our business is a major step," van Wissen said.

Earlier on Tuesday, InterBulk announced that its profit after tax for the first half of 2011 had soared to £1.35m compared with £391,000 in the same period last year as revenue rose 15.8% year on year to £146.2m.

In a statement, van Wissen said that the company’s business model, competitive position, and growth opportunities for dry and liquid bulk intermodal solutions provided a positive environment for future success.

Company chairman David Rolph said that global demand for chemicals and polymers had remained buoyant in the first six months of the year, which has underpinned InterBulk's revenue growth. He added that the global chemical industry had experienced good market conditions in 2010, which has continued into 2011 with modest growth forecast in the US and Europe and stronger growth in emerging regions.

However, he added that the large increase in fuel prices, with oil prices rising by approximately 40% in dollar terms during the six months to 31 March 2011, has impacted margin performance, particularly in Europe and he expected additional costs to be passed through to customers in due course. Rolph said uncertainty remains regarding the future direction of economic conditions.

($1 = €0.69, €1 = £0.88)

By: Franco Capaldo
+44 (0)20 8652 3214

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