Mumbai: The net profit of Great Eastern Shipping Co. Ltd (GE Shipping), India’s biggest private shipping firm by fleet size and revenue, jumped 77% to Rs293.57 crore for the October-December quarter, from Rs165.85 crore in the year-ago period as higher earnings from dry bulk carriers helped offset a decline in revenues from tankers carrying crude oil and petroleum products.
At a meeting held on Tuesday, the Mumbai-based company’s board of directors declared a second interim dividend of Rs3.50 per share. The shipping firm had in October announced an interim dividend of Rs4 a share.
GE Shipping’s shares closed the day on Tuesday at Rs410.55 a share on the Bombay Stock Exchange—up 1.06%. The company operates a fleet of 13 dry bulk carriers, 12 crude carriers, 20 product tankers and two liquid petroleum gas carriers.
Revenues rose 43.2% to Rs744.28 crore, from Rs519.85 crore in the year-ago period. Average earnings from operating crude carriers dropped 21% on a year-on-year basis to $23,564 (Rs928,422) a day, from $29,768 a year earlier.
Although the average earnings from product tankers remained flat during the third quarter compared with the same period last year, the average revenue from gas carriers rose 8% to $17,886 a day, from $16,492 in the year-ago period, the firm said in a statement.
However, the biggest gain during the third quarter came from the dry bulk segment. The average earnings for shipping dry bulk commodities such as coal, steel and iron ore rose 155% to $45,148 a day, from $17,735 a day in the year-ago quarter. “The improvement in earnings can be largely attributed to the much higher rates in the dry bulk segment,” GE Shipping said.
The company has ordered nine dry bulk carriers. It is also building two double-bottomed product tankers at a total cost of about Rs2,300 crore.
The company’s offshore subsidiary, Greatship (India) Ltd, is investing another Rs2,650 crore to buy 18 vessels, which will be used to support offshore oil drilling operations. GE Shipping said the recent rate volatility in the dry bulk market was “likely to continue as the impact of a slowdown in major global economies is yet to be ascertained.” But, if the outlook on overall growth and infrastructure spend of China and India are unchanged, the dry bulk market is likely to remain fairly robust on a more long-term basis, it said.