Höegh Autoliners delivered strong fourth quarter results in 2021, with an EBITDA of USD79 million and a net profit of USD140 million.
Andreas Enger, Höegh ceo, said: “In a market with changing dynamics and re-pricing, our strong operating performance and vessel positioning has resulted in strong quarterly results.”
In the fourth quarter Höegh had to contend with semiconductor shortages and supply chain disruptions. It said its flexible operating model, vessel positioning and its ability to secure high-margin cargoes resulted in a significant commercial recovery.
“As part of strengthening our service offering, accelerating our path to zero and putting us in the forefront of sustainable shipping, we laid the groundwork for entering into a contract with China Merchants Heavy Industry for our Aurora-class newbuilding programme. On November 29, we successfully listed on Euronext Growth Oslo which represents a strong vote of confidence in our long-term commitment and robust business model,” added Enger.
Challenges still remain, however. The outbreak of Omicron this winter has led to more delays in ports and port operation due to lack of labour. In addition, some challenges related to bug treatment of cargo to Oceania has caused more operational inefficiencies and delays than in the previous quarter. The semiconductor shortage and supply chain disruptions are continuing to create volatility and some imbalances but also creates opportunities as cargo support in certain markets are very strong. Bunker prices have increased continuously through January and will impact the result as the compensation (BAF) is delayed with three to four months.
Seasonally quarter one is traditionally somewhat weaker than quarter four caused by lower activity due to seasonal holidays, said Höegh. Nevertheless, the fundamental market conditions experienced in the fourth quarter of 2021 has continued into 2022; the tight supply/demand balance and higher net freight rate will continue to have a positive effect.