Moby seeks stock market listing
Moby Lines is to seek a stock market listing as part of an effort to raise further funds for investment in the highly competitive Mediterranean ferry market.
Moby chief executive Vincenzo Onorato said: ?We have significant growth prospects and view a stock market listing as the beginning of a new phase of growth.?
It is unclear at this stage how much of the company will be sold onto the market, but existing investors are likely to retain a controlling stake. Moby aims to list on the Star segment of the Milan Borsa, which specialises in small-to-medium-capitalisation companies.
The issue was decided yesterday at a shareholders" meeting in Milan called to approve the company"s results for 2009, which saw the company holding its own through a particularly tough economic climate.
The company handled 5.8m passengers last year, a solid 10.1% up on the previous year, as well as 2.7m lane metres of rolling cargo, though the improvement in volumes was offset by lower prices.
Moby, which has long been among the most aggressive of players in an overtonnaged market, adding vessels while competing fiercely on price, posted ?4.2m ($5.7m) in earnings, up from ?3m in 2008.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation edged up 4% to ?60.4m for the year, with the improvement attributable largely to savings on raw materials costs and services.
The increase in net income also came despite a slight drop in revenues, which slipped 4.3% to ?251.9m, compared with ?263.2m in 2008. Moby said the revenue drop was due to price cuts aimed at countering the impact of the downturn.