The start of 2016 proved to be somewhat more challenging than expected for Qatar Navigation (Milaha) which booked a 3.5% lower net profit in the first quarter of 2016, ending March 31st year-on-year.
Qatar-based marine transport and logistics conglomerate’s net profit for the quarter reached QAR 352 million (USD 96.6 million), down from QAR 365 million for the same period in 2015. The company’s operating revenues decreased by 1.9% to QAR 771 million, with its operating profit falling by 7.2% to QAR 259 million.
“Although some of the segments in which we operate are facing some challenging times, we believe in the long term fundamentals of these segments and their ability to recover in the near future,” said H.E. Sheikh Ali bin Jassim Al Thani, Chairman of Milaha’s Board of Directors.
The worst hit were the company’s offshore and trading businesses, with Milaha Offshore’s revenue declining by 10% and net profit by 47%, mainly due to a very challenging offshore business environment and a delay in vessel mobilization.
Driven by lower heavy equipment sales due to the slowdown in construction activities in Qatar and various related projects, Milaha Trading’s revenue dropped by 22% and net profit by 54%. Milaha Capital’s revenue declined by 12% and net profit by 5%, mainly driven by lower dividend income.
Only the company’s Gas & Petrochem business recorded revenue growth, worth 63% prompting net profit rise by 23%. The company attributed the growth to the investment in two LNG carriers made in the second half of 2015 and stronger results from investments in associates and joint ventures.
Milaha Maritime & Logistics’ revenue declined by 2% and net profit by 22%, partially due to increased pressure on pricing, particularly in the container feeder business.
“With a strong balance sheet and a healthy financial position, we are confident that we will withstand the current headwinds and continue to invest in the future,” said Abdulrahman Essa Al-Mannai, Milaha’s President and CEO.
The quarterly financials come on the back of Milaha’s net profit of QAR 1.095 billion (USD 300.6 billion) for the full year of 2015, representing a 4 percent increase compared to the previous year.