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BUNKER INDEX :: Price Index, News and Directory Information for the Marine Fuel Industry
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Grindrod's bunker barge business has positive impact, but losses expected

23 Feb 2017 11:05 GMT

Company reports 'gradual improvement' in H2, but forecasts losses of around $130 million.



Grindrod Ltd, the 50 percent joint owner of marine fuels specialist Cockett Group, reports that its bunker barge business had a positive impact on the company's results, but it still expects to post a full-year loss at the start of next month.

In a trading statement issued prior to the release of the company's final results to shareholders on 2nd March, Grindrod said it expected to report a headline loss (losses generated by operations and investment activities) of between ZAR 455 million (approximately $34.8 million) and ZAR 465 million ($35.5 million) in 2016.

Grindrod's overall loss is expected to be between ZAR 1,695 million ($129.5 million) and ZAR 1,720 million ($131.4 million).

Following a loss of ZAR 381 million ($29.1 million) during the first half of the year, Grindrod said the result reflected "a gradual improvement in volumes and rates" for the last six months of 2016.

"The improvement in the dry bulk shipping rates from their lows in the first half and the continued good performance in the ship operating, coastal tanker and bunker barge businesses has positively impacted results," Grindrod noted.

Despite the expected loss, Grindrod stressed: "With total assets in excess of R36 billion (2015: R36 billion) and low gearing, the group's financial position remains strong."

Maputo

As a 48.5 percent stakeholder in Sociedade de Servicos Portuarios S.A. (Portus Indico), the major shareholder of Maputo's port operator Maputo Port Development Company (MPDC), Grindrod is a key player when it comes to developments at the Mozambique port.

In November, Maputo launched a new bunkering service for ships; it followed the signing of a contract agreement on 28th October between MPDC and Petromoc Bunkering Limitada - a joint venture between Geneva-based Augusta Energy S.A. and state oil company Petroleos de Mocambique S.A. (Petromoc).

Earlier this month, the dredging of the access channel to the port of Maputo from 11 to up 14.4 metres was completed. As a result, the port is now able to receive larger ships, which is set to provide a boost for bunker sales volumes.

MPDC is a national private company which was formed via a partnership between Portus Indico and the Mozambican Railway Company (Caminhos de Ferro de Mocambique). Portus Indico has a 51 percent stake in MPDC and is owned by Grindrod (48.5 percent), DP World (48.5 percent) and local firm Mozambique Gestores (3 percent).






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