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For the full year ended 31 December 2017 ("FY17"), the Group recorded an 8.9% increase in revenue to USD283.7 million, from USD260.5 million in the previous financial year ("FY16"). This was on the back of higher revenue contribution from its container shipping business segment.
As a result of the 10.0% increase in container volume handled to 1.3 million TEUs coupled with freight rates improvements, revenue from the container shipping business rose 11.2% from USD225.5 million in FY16 to USD250.7 million in FY17.
Revenue from the bulk & tanker business fell 11.1% to USD26.9 million in FY17, from USD30.3 million in FY16, as the Group operated a smaller tanker fleet year-on-year. The decrease was partially mitigated by improvements in the employment days and charter rates of its bulk carriers.
Cost of services increased 8.2% to USD266.0 million in FY17, compared to USD245.9 million in FY16, taking into account higher bunker price and container volume handled during the year. This was partially offset by a smaller fleet operated in the bulk & tanker segment during the year.
In light of the above, the Group recorded gross profit of USD17.7 million in FY17, which was a 21.0% improvement over the USD14.6 million recorded in FY16.
Marketing and administrative expenses decreased 8.5% to USD13.4 million, largely due to a lower provision for bad debt.
Other operating expenses fell to USD0.1 million, from USD7.9 million in FY16. Operating expenses was higher in FY16 in view of impairment loss recorded on two dry-bulk carriers and three Indonesia-flagged container vessels.
Other operating income declined 40.9% to USD2.3 million, from $4.0 million in FY16. Operating income was higher in FY16 mainly due to insurance claim payment received for a vessel that was grounded and subsequently written off in 2012 for sustained damage.
Taking the above into account, the Group registered a profit of USD6.5 million from operations in FY17, against a loss of USD3.9 million a year ago.
Net profit for the year is USD5.9 million, a reversal from a loss of USD5.4 million in FY16.
Property, plant and equipment amounted to USD215.4 million as at 31 December 2017, compared to USD243.0 million as at 31 December 2016, following the sale of four Indonesia-flagged vessels during the year and a reclassification of one oil tanker to assets held for sale as at 31 December 2017.
Trade receivables increased to USD58.5 million as at 31 December 2017, from USD44.2 million a year ago, in line with the higher revenue recorded.
Assets held of sale saw an increase to USD6.4 million as at 31 December 2017, compared to USD3.3 million as at 31 December 2016, on account of the Group’s planned disposal of an oil tanker. The Group expects to complete the disposal in the next 12 months.
Amount due from immediate holding company (trade) increased to USD5.4 million as at 31 December 2017, compared to USD2.4 million as at 31 December 2016, on account of an increase in volume handled by an immediate holding company that acts as the Group’s agent in Indonesia.
While recent indicators point to improving conditions in the container shipping industry, the Group expects competition to heat up in 2018, led by a consolidation among mainline operators and the resulting concentration of market share. In addition, with new tonnage in excess of demand entering service in the coming year, intense competition for cargo will persist. Compounding this is the anticipated uptrend in bunker prices in the year ahead.
Meanwhile, recent improvement in the demand for dry-bulk commodities give hope for better operating conditions for the Group’s bulk and tanker business in the current year.
The Group expects to continue to grow its logistics support capabilities in the region, and is currently on the lookout for opportunities to expand its warehousing and container depot capabilities.
To maintain its market competitiveness amid current industry dynamics, the Group will also continue to focus on optimising asset utilisation and operational efficiency to fortify itself against challenges that lie ahead.