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Gross revenues rose to $1.6bn

Gross revenues rose to $1.6bn
Russian tanker owner Sovcomflot posted a record $406 million in net profit for 2008, the company announced Wednesday.

Russian tanker owner Sovcomflot posted a record $406 million in net profit for 2008, the company announced Wednesday.

Russian tanker owner Sovcomflot posted a record $406 million in net profit for 2008, the company announced Wednesday.

Despite the record profits, the company said its net profit was "adversely affected" by write-downs on some existing vessel values and newbuildings.

Gross revenues, meanwhile, rose by more than a third from the previous year to $1.6 billion in 2008.

Looking forward, Sovcomflot said it aims to become one of the three largest tanker companies in the world by the end of 2010.

?We think we have not reached the bottom and when we can see signs of an upswing we have our resources in place to do some transactions. Sometimes the best thing to do is not to do anything,? said Sovcomflot president and chief executive Sergey Frank.

Frank added that in view of the current rates in the spot market, it was ?clear that 2009 was going to be a difficult year and that significant improvement may be unlikely in 2010?.

There will be further market consolidation, as well as pressure on vessel values while charter rates would ?trend towards their historical replacement costs?, he said.

In reference to a postponement of a planned listing in 2008, Sovcomflot said it would pursue a stock market listing when the global economy recovered.

?Although we are very prudently leveraged, as we go forward we need to look at the optimal capital structure for our business and eventually and unavoidably we will want to tap the capital markets,? chief financial officer Nikolai Kolesnikov told.

Frank added that Sovcomflot"s focus on industrial shipping and diversification into the oil and gas ports and terminals sector in Russia meant the company ?had the luxury now to wait and we are not under pressure?.

www.TurkishMaritime.com.tr

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