Atlas Shipping launches plan to invest DKK 1bn in new ships  

Danish-based Atlas Shipping is altering course from primarily operating leased vessels to owning 20% of its fleet
Danish-based Atlas Shipping, an international supplier of tonnage and transport solutions in the dry cargo sector, is changing course. From primary operating leased vessels, the company is now planning to invest DKK 1bn (USD 210m) in buying up to five ships, writes financial daily newspaper Børsen.
"We have a long-term strategy that involves having a balanced portfolio of modern ships at our disposal, some of which we own ourselves. We aim to own about 20% of the total fleet in a few years," says Bo Kristensen, CEO and senior partner of Atlas Shipping.
The company has just published its annual accounts for 2007, which show that revenues more than doubled to USD 768m, while group profit totalled USD 110m compared to USD 8m last year.
"The good result was due to a favourable market for medium-sized ships – the Handymax and Panamax segment – which saw a large increase in demand and rates," Atlas Shipping said in a press release.
The management expects the upward trend to continue in 2008, albeit with a slightly lower result than achieved in 2007, because of an expected drop in dry cargo rates.
Atlas Shipping Group operates a fleet of up to 75 ships, depending on prevailing market conditions. The company provides transport in the dry bulk sector with tonnages ranging from 25,000 to 80,000 DWT (Dead Weight Tons). Atlas Shipping Group is headquartered in Copenhagen.
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