One of Denmark's largest shipping companies, J. Lauritzen, is on course for a record year, and has more than 50 new ships on order, corresponding to a value topping USD 1 bn. J. Lauritzen's director Torben Janholt is particularly pleased by developments on the dry bulk market, where most of the company's ships are operating.
"Earlier this year I forecast that the result would be on a par with 2006, with the arrow pointing slightly upwards. But now it looks different and the result will be significantly improved, especially because the dry bulk market is doing better than expected. Gas and product tankers are also doing well, but at a lower level. We are looking forward to one of the best results in the shipping company's history," says Janholt.
In the last couple of months, J. Lauritzen has ordered four dry bulk vessels and six product tankers, making the number of ships on order total more than 50 vessels, for delivery between 2009 and 2011. J. Lauritzen is also on the outlook to buy another shipping company, and has USD 1 bn at its disposal for the purpose.
"Shipping companies and blocks of ships are traded every day. There are substantial amounts of money in circulation and plenty of venture capital, for example in capital funds, and they keep prices up. Many things have become too expensive. But I can say that acquisitions are part of our strategy, which we are working on continuously. There are acquisition opportunities everywhere, and we are assessing them," says Janholt.
J. Lauritzen, which is based in Copenhagen, operates in several business areas: dry bulk cargoes, liquefied gases, reefer goods and crude oil, oil products and chemicals. In 2005, the company achieved its best ever profit after tax of USD 210 m. The news was reported by financial daily newspaper Børsen.