March 06 - Rotterdam-based Smit Internationale has enjoyed bullish results in 2008, thanks in part to heavy lift and transport activities, achieving the marked increase in net results for the second half of 2008 that was predicted in August last year.
Smit's Transport and Heavy Lift Division had a combined revenue of EUR 371.3 million, up from EUR 230.2 million in 2007 with a combined operating result of EUR 59.1 million, up from EUR 30.1 million in 2007.
Ben Vree, SMIT CEO, said: "We are proud that we have managed to exceed the record results of 2007, despite a major increase in our depreciation charges and the low US dollar rate. The growth was largely realised through our less cyclical activities. This underlines the success of the strategy we adopted of synergy and focusing on our more stable activities.
"However, the economic downturn did not leave us unaffected, particularly in the spot activities of transport and heavy lift. At the same time, the declining market will also offer opportunities for takeovers, which will accelerate consolidation in the sector. We remain positive for the long term, although it is still too early to make any concrete prediction for 2009."
Within the Heavy Lift and Transport Division, he transport activities showed a considerable growth in the result compared with the previous year. That growth stemmed in part from the consolidation of the URS transport activities early in 2008.
The fleet utilisation rate and the related fees remained at a high level. Three new work vessels (L Class) were put into operation in 2008 and chartered out under long-term contracts, which further improved the stability profile. A new bunker barge was also delivered in South Africa.
The increase in the result of the associated companies stemmed primarily from the contribution by the OMS joint venture in Egypt, which is an interest that was acquired in mid-2007.
The growth target for the transport activities is organic growth of 10178e830er year.
Heavy lift activities achieved an exceptionally good result during the second half of the year. The floating sheerlegs, marine projects and the subsea activities all experienced a very high supply of work during that period. The improvement in the results compared with the first six months stemmed in part from postponed projects and the performance of maintenance work early in the year.