MOSCOW, June 8 (RIA Novosti)
Sovcomflot, Russia's largest shipping company, saw first quarter net profit jump 36.3 percent year-on-year to $45.4 million to IFRS, the firm said in a statement on Friday.
The company's revenue increased 14.4 percent year on year in the first quarter 2012 to $394.9 million with EBITDA growing 16.4 percent year on year to $144.9 million.
Sovcomflot's time-charter equivalent amounted to $257.6 million, an 11.7 percent increase year-on-year. But despite this the company said market conditions were still difficult.
"Despite some limited revival in the global tanker market, at the beginning of 2012, tanker owners are still experiencing challenging times. It is too early to talk about recovery from this period of long-term market depression," Sovcomflot President and CEO Sergei Frank said in the statement.
"During the first quarter of 2012, freight rates were at historical lows and the market saw an over-supply of new-buildings. In the first quarter freight rates remained at historic low levels due to a continued tanker supply / demand imbalance," Frank added.
The company was included in a $33-billion privatization plan for 2011-2013, which stipulated the sale of shares in the country's top 10 companies. The government intends to privatize 50 percent minus one share of the company.
"[Sovcomflot] has a conservative view of the tanker market's development over the current year. In terms of leading indicators and forecasts for petroleum and oil products consumption, as well as the supply of tonnage, there are no reasons to believe that market situation will dramatically improve in 2012," the company also said in the statement.
Sovcomflot operated 158 vessels with a total deadweight of 11.7 million tons as of March 31, 2012.
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