November 6 - Reduced volumes of high and heavy cargo and seasonally lower demand for maritime services negatively affected Wilh Wilhelmsen Holding ASA's (WWH) total income and result for Q3 2013, said the Norwegian maritime industry group in a statement t

Operating profit for Q3 2013 stood at USD96 million, down from USD260 million 12 months previously. Revenue for Q3 2013 fell by 18.7 percent year-on-year to USD873 million. The company justified the result by highlighting that Q3 2012 results were positively impacted by a USD134 sales gain related to the company's downward share sale in South Korean logistics company, Hyundai Glovis. Adjusting for the gain, operating profit was down 24 percent and the total income down 7 percent year-on-year, said WWH.

"Compared with the second quarter, our operating profit dropped 9 percent while the total income was down 3 percent. The main reason was a decline in ocean transported volumes, less profitable cargo mix and suboptimal utilisation of our advanced ro-ro fleet," observed Thomas Wilhelmsen, group ceo, WWH. "The lower contribution from our shipping activities was partly offset by a seasonally strong quarter for our land-based logistics services, which resulted in a sound contribution to group accounts," Wilhelmsen added.

Regarding the demand for maritime products and services, Wilhelmsen added that although results are down from a "strong second quarter" the maritime services segment "continued on the positive trend from the previous quarter", and that WWH's operating profit is close to its long-term target.

Looking ahead Wilhelmsen sees a generally weak shipping market as the greatest challenge: "Despite a gradual increase in newbuilding ordering activity and the global merchant fleet, the shipping markets in general continue to be weak. This has a negative effect on owners' purchasing capabilities and puts pressure on margins." He expects the company's shipping and logistics volumes to remain at the same level as the third quarter as the year progresses.