May 14 - Net profit for SMIT in the first quarter of 2009 amounted to EUR 28 million, including a net contribution of EUR 10 million from the financial settlement of the 'Thunderhorse' project, without which, net profit from normal operating activities sh

SMIT's CEO, Ben Vree, explains: "It is obvious that the present recession is also affecting our industry. 

"Particularly in the harbour towage market and in the spot market of the Transport & Heavy Lift Division, we see the effects of the current recession due to the large number of laid-up vessels, as well as cancelled and delayed projects. 

"More vessels are being laid-up on a daily basis, resulting in a further decrease of shipping activities during the first quarter of 2009. 

"We feel, however, that this recession will generate opportunities for us as well. The trend towards consolidation in our industry will accelerate, which means that we may expect to expand our global network."