10 December 2012 15:24 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--UK-based materials logistics provider InterBulk said on Monday that a strong performance from its dry bulk business during the group’s financial year has placed its business on a good footing for the next 12 months.
InterBulk saw its profit for the year ended 30 September 2012 rise 12% year on year to £4.33m (€5.41m, $6.99m), as a 6.7% fall in revenue to £280m was offset by an improvement in margins and lower interest costs.
“After achieving two years of strong revenue growth, the weak external business environment, evident following the Euro crisis has impacted activity levels in our main market, the European chemical sector. As a consequence, revenue declined this year,” said David Rolph, InterBulk non-executive chairman.
“Despite these industry-wide pressures, the impact on profit has been offset by the improvement in margins achieved by the strengthened management team in our Dry Bulk division and lower interest costs flowing from the deleverage achieved in 2011,” he added.
InterBulk said a recovery had been achieved in the second quarter following the adverse impact of the initial wave of the euro crisis in quarter to 31 December 2011. However, this recovery did not continue into the second half as renewed euro concerns drove the European economy back into recession with weak business confidence evident throughout.
However, the group’s dry bulk reported a recovery in profitability with strong growth in the food sector, plus an increased use of the group’s intermediate and on-site storage solutions, it said.
"The Dry Bulk business has delivered a strong set of results which has placed the business on a good footing for the new financial year. Growth is targeted from the realisation of projects principally in new products and geographies. We aim to achieve a modest further profit improvement in the next financial year consolidating the performance of the year just reported," the company said.
“In Liquid Bulk, we believe that utilisation and margins will remain under pressure in the coming year. In the medium term, global chemical sector growth should support improving utilisation as the current industry wide over-capacity is absorbed,” InterBulk added.
The company also reiterated its strategy is unchanged - 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.
($1 = £0.62, €1=0.80, $1 = €0.78)
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