Essar Shipping Net Up 81%

New Delhi, May 17: | Updated: May 18 2003, 05:30am hrs
Essar Shipping Ltd (ESL) has registered an 81 per cent increase in its net profit to Rs 36.51 crore in the last quarter of 2002-03, but its annual net profit at Rs 63.3 crore showed a marginal decline over the previous year.

A company release attributed the drop to extraordinary charges of Rs 6.82 crore of advisory fees for the potential acquisition of shipping companies (implying Shipping Corporation of India where ESL was in the race) and charging of certain portion of interest cost to its books, instead of charging it to its subsidiary.

The total income reached Rs 489.1 crore during 2002-03, compared to Rs 490.98 crore in the previous year. The company saw significant increase in transportation of American crude oil besides an increase in market share for refined petroleum products transportation during the year.

The company during 2003-04 will concentrate on leveraging its presence in crude oil transportation and crude transportation management.

It is targeting to increase its market share in the United States and European crude transportation and logistics market. The company is also looking at growing inorganically through acquisition of shipping companies in crude transportation and crude transportation management services.

As per the company, 2002-03 started on a not so good note for the Suezmax tankers mainly on account of reduced economic activity.

The first two quarters of the year saw the freight rates dipping to their lowest levels mainly due to weak market sentiments, the United States threat of attack on Iraq, slow economic growth coupled with production cutbacks. The markets picked up in the third quarter and continued in the fourth quarter.