Ship broker Clarksons eyes acquisitions

R. S. Platou
Shipping firm Clarksons is “keeping an eye out” for potential acquisitions as it sees signs of an end to one of the biggest downturns in the industry’s history.

The FTSE 250 firm, which is the world’s largest shipbroker, lifted revenues from £302 million to £306 million last year as underlying pre-tax profits dipped from £50.5 million to £44.8 million with freight rates continuing to dive.

Analysts attributed the strong performance to Clarksons’ $440 million takeover of RS Platou.

“This demonstrates the importance of the Platou acquisition to turning the business around and positioning it for the future,” Panmure Gordon’s Colin Smith said.

Chief financial officer Jeff Woyda suggested more deals could be on the cards as smaller rivals struggle to stay afloat.

“Right now, we’re concentrating on hiring the best people in the industry. Obviously we are keeping our eye out for any opportunities that arise but they’ve got to be meaningful and sensible,” Woyda said.

He added, “We’re looking forward to the next few years of recoveries of our market.”

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