April 7 - In 2016, Grieg Star recorded a loss of NOK64 million (USD7.4 million), against a net deficit of NOK476 million (USD55.3 million) in 2015, says its parent company, Grieg Group.

However, Grieg Group says that whilst its shipping business had another weak year, its ongoing merger with Gearbulk, which was announced in Autumn 2016 leaves it confident about the future - see HLPFI's report here.

On completion of that merger, the new company, to be named G2 Ocean, will be in control of a fleet of more than 130 ships.

Grieg says the bad market continued in both segments in 2016. The results from dry bulk activities were mainly affected by the continuation of low freight rates. The open hatch segment, which is more industrial in nature, experienced much the same, although the vessels' earnings stayed at a higher level than for conventional dry bulk.

It adds that operating costs were positively affected by a USD10.7 million reversal of a loss provision in 2016 (totalling USD20 million and carried out in 2015) related to the dry bulk operation's long-term time-chartered vessels.