InterviewInterBulk well positioned to deliver growth targets - CEO

14 June 2012 12:03  [Source: ICIS news]

By Franco Capaldo

LONDON (ICIS)--InterBulk is well positioned to hit its strategic growth targets, the CEO of the UK-based liquid and dry bulk materials logistics provider said on Thursday.

Koert van Wissen said that recovery in demand seen in InterBulk’s second quarter has left the group on track to achieve market expectations for its fiscal full year of equal-to-slightly better than 2011, when the company reported revenues of £300.4m ($469m, €376m), up 10% from the same period the year before.

Revenues for the first half of Interbulk’s fiscal year, the six months ended 31 March 2012, were £141.3m, 3% down year on year as a result of lower global demand and weak market conditions which impacted global traffic flows in its first quarter.

However, greater stability and improved confidence in the market led to a good recovery in the second quarter and InterBulk witnessed a sharp increase in logistics activity as chemical prices rose and the supply chain restocked. 

“From January we saw a marked recovery in logistics activity with our second quarter being ahead of the equivalent quarter in the prior period,” said van Wissen.

“This run-rate ensured the group completed the first half strongly, with March showing the highest activity level in the six-month period,” he added.

In a statement, the group’s non-executive chairman, David Rolph, said the chemical sector is expected to continue, as in the past, on a long-term growth trend ahead of global GDP.

CEO van Wissen said: “The recovery seen in the second quarter of our first half results left us on track to achieve market expectations for the full year, yet a re-emergence of concerns about financial stability in Europe could create a disturbance in the supply chains we serve, both in terms of logistics activity but also fleet balance, and this introduces more downside than upside risk to these forecast expectations.”

This time last year, van Wissen had said the InterBulk would 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 reiterated that the group’s strategy is unchanged. He said InterBulk’s forcus is to continue to expand in growth regions and increase its inter-regional and export liquid bulk activity in the Americas and southeast Asia, as well as create alliances with logistics service providers in key markets.

The group’s alliance with China-based logistics major Sinotrans Logistics continues to develop and van Wissen said InterBulk is further expanding its fleet to take advantage of the growing opportunities in Asia.

Meanwhile in May, InterBulk announced the signing of a 10 year on-site service contract with TomskNefteKhim and its parent group Sibur, Russia's largest petrochemicals group.

Under the scope of the agreement, InterBulk will perform all packaging, warehousing and loading operations for the various modes of transport for TomskNeftekhim's polyethylene (PE) plant. The initial annual revenue for InterBulk's on-site activity is anticipated to be approximately €1m.

($1 = £0.64, €1 = 0.80)

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

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