Despite the general hardships being felt in the shipping industry as the global economic downturn continues, there are still some positive stories to tell. One of them concerns the north Jutland's Wrist Group, which supplies services to the shipping industry worldwide.
Financial daily newspaper Børsen reports that the company has just posted its best ever set of annual results. Revenues for 2008 were up by a substantial 38% to DKK 43bn (USD 7.7bn) and EBIT by an even more impressive 57% to DKK 377m (USD 67m). Now Wrist Group is looking to steer a safe passage through troubled times by making acquisitions and forging closer collaborations with its customers.
Wrist Group CEO Jim Pedersen told Børsen: "The [financial] crisis has got a hard grip on shipping companies, which are being battered from all sides. So we are moving closer to our customers to jointly formulate risk management programmes."
The Aalborg-based concern closely follows the fortunes of its customers, and its directors acknowledge that customers' ability to pay constitutes the biggest risk for the company at present. Jim Pedersen does stress however that the strategy of moving closer to customers is just as much geared to finding solutions.
Wrist Group comprises three companies: O.W.Bunker & Trading, which is one of the world's biggest in the bunkering sector; Ove Wrist & Co, among the world's leading companies in ship provisioning; and Wrist Shipping. The group, which employs 1,000 people, has about 8% of the world market. In 2008, Wrist Group handled about 19 million tons of bunkering oil.