March 12 - A 9.1 percent decrease in freight volumes to and from Greenland has resulted in Royal Arctic Line posting a loss before tax and minority interests of DKK20 million (USD3.7 million) and DKK14million (USD2.6 million) after tax for 2013.

This marks the carrier's first deficit since 1995.

The total volume of goods transported to, from and within Greenland in 2013 amounted to 750,000 cu m, compared with 830,000 cu m in 2012. Goods used in the construction sector were the main cause of the decrease, with flatrack and oversized cargo volumes falling by 29 percent and 62 percent respectively, compared with 2012.

Despite the unsatisfactory results for 2013, the carrier is set to request the Greenland Government to pay a dividend of DKK25 million (USD4.6 million).

Royal Arctic Line expects 2014 to bring limited developments in cargo volumes, in light of the slower growth anticipated in Greenland this year.

Large investments are required in vessels and new facilities for a new container terminal in Nuuk, which is why the government accepted a rate increase of 5 percent to be introduced from March 1, 2014, explained the company.

Royal Arctic Line will hold its annual general meeting on May 6, when further financial statements will be published.