Bangalore: The net profit of Great Eastern Shipping Co Ltd, biggest private ocean carrier, in the year to March 2009 rose marginally by 2% to Rs1,384.82 crore from Rs1,356.81 crore a year mainly due to a sharp drop in the dry bulk shipping market in the second half of the fiscal.
During the year, the Mumbai-based firm’s revenues jumped 7.4% to Rs3,083.47 crore from Rs2,870.13 crores a year earlier.
The company has declared a third interim dividend of Rs3 per share.
The depressed dry bulk shipping market resulted in the firm posting a 16.5% drop in net profits during the January to March quarter to Rs250.05 crore from Rs299.41 crore a year ago. Great Eastern reported a 31.8% decline in revenues during the fourth quarter to Rs534.25 crore from Rs783.66 crore a year earlier.
On a consolidated basis including revenues from its offshore subsidiary, Greatship (India) Ltd, the firm’s net profit for the full year declined 2.4% to Rs1,417.83 crore from Rs1,453.35 crore a year earlier.
The company’s average day rate earnings from its dry bulk ships declined by 53% during the January to March quarter from a year earlier.
During the year, the company sold nine ships- four tankers and five dry bulk ships. It has also agreed to sell two more dry bulk ships during the new fiscal that began on 1 April.
Great Eastern is selling its older bulkers because it not keen on spending large sums of money for dry docking, repairs and renewals when rock bottom rates cannot recover even ship operating expenses.
The bleak shipping scenario has led Great Eastern to cancel orders for two new mid-sized dry bulk carriers it had placed with China’s Cosco Shipyard Group, with a view to reduce risk in the current highly uncertain business environment.
The firm has ordered nine new ships at various global yards worth Rs2,715 crores. Separately, the firm’s offshore unit is buying 16 new vessels at an estimated cost of Rs3,595 crore.