Western Bulk Returns to Profit

Norway’s dry bulk vessel operator Western Bulk made a profit after tax of USD 4.3 million in 2017, a significant improvement from the loss of USD 20.1 million reported a year earlier.

After it cut loss in the first half of the year, the company posted a profit of USD 6.4 million in the second part of 2017, compared to the loss of USD 10.1 million seen in 2H 2016.

Net time charter (TC) result reached USD 25.4 million in the last six months of 2017, with the fourth quarter TC result amounting to USD 17.3 million, the highest quarterly net TC level since 2012.

According to the company, its operated fleet decreased from 140 ships in the first half of the year to 137 in the second half, following the closure of the Miami office and a more selective trading strategy.

In addition, full year Net TC ended at USD 40.5 million, a rise of USD 36.1 million from USD 4.4 million in 2016. The average number of ships operated was 140 for the full year, an increase from 125 in 2016.

In 2017, the group generated USD 6.8 million in cash flow from operations in addition to USD 17.9 million in increased cash from the equity issue completed in March 2017. Western Bulk said it is building “a strong cash position” with total available liquidity reaching USD 55.9 million at the end of the year.

In its outlook for 2018, Western Bulk said it expects continued strong performance with a stable net TC at around 10-percentage points of market rates in addition to an increased number of vessels operated.

“Performance has improved significantly, reaching historical levels, and the last quarter being the best in five years. This proves the success of our business model,” Jens Ismar, CEO of Western Bulk, commented.

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