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Rusal settles outstanding claims

Rusal settles outstanding claims
DANISH bulker and tanker operator Norden will receive a cash payment of $23m from RTI, an offshoot of Russian aluminium giant Rusal, in full settlement of seven arbitrations taking place in London to settle outstanding cargo claims.

Rusal settles outstanding claims with Norden.

DANISH bulker and tanker operator Norden will receive a cash payment of $23m from RTI, an offshoot of Russian aluminium giant Rusal, in full settlement of seven arbitrations taking place in London to settle outstanding cargo claims.

Norden said it was due to receive the cash payment by March 22.

The Copenhagen-listed company has also agreed a new two-year contract of affreightment with RTI for 2m tonnes of bauxite.

Rusal director Tatiana Soina confirmed that the cash payment was in ?full and final settlement of the claims, including interest and costs, the arbitrations and all other claims? by Norden against RTI concerning the affreightment contracts.

She said Norden had claimed a total of about $90m including demurrage but excluding interest and costs in the arbitrations which started early last year.

Ms Soina added that once the new contract of affreightment started all the arbitrations would be terminated with no orders as to costs.

The initial affreightment contracts, covering 100 separate shipments, were signed in November 2007, February and August 2008 at rates of between $64.65 and $50 per tonne to transport bauxite from Weipa in Australia to the Italian port of Vesme.

But the slump in the global economy from September 2008 led Rusal to terminate the COAs with Norden which claimed it was owed $64m for 27 cancelled shipments, together with demurrage and damages.

Confirmation of the deal with RTI came as Norden today posted a net profit of $217.2m last year, down from $707.8m in 2008. Revenue dropped to $1.67bn, down from $4.23bn, but costs were cut to $1.55bn in 2009 against $3.74bn a year earlier.

The company said the ?fourth quarter was the best of the year affirming the positive trend in operating earnings seen throughout the year?.

Fourth-quarter growth was driven by the improvement in the dry cargo division, while earnings from the tanker division was ?affected by the poor spot rates during most of the quarter,? the company said.

Norden said a $200m credit facility was likely to be finalised in the second quarter which would give the company ?added flexibility to pursue attractive investment opportunities?.

The firm forecast that earnings before interest, tax and depreciation from the dry bulk operation was expected to increase to between $190m-$220m this year, while the tanker division was expected to post an earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation loss of between $5m-$25m.

Norden added that overall earnings before interest and tax this year was expected to vary between $135m-$185m ?due to fewer known profits from the sale of vessels and increased depreciation on a growing fleet of owned vessels?.

The company added: ?Coverage for both 2010 and 2011 has increased since the turn of the year.?

www.turkishmaritime.com.tr

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