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11 March, 2020 - 18:31 By Tony Quested

Braemar Shipping charts a steady course

Braemar Shipping Services plc which provides shipbroking, financial advisory, logistics and engineering services mainly to the global shipping and energy industries, had a mixed trading year to the end of February.

The company says that shipbroking had a strong second half, largely driven by strong tanker markets in the last calendar quarter of 2019 and is estimated to end the year with a forward order book approximately 15 per cent higher than the $43 million at the half-year. 

New offices have been planned for Athens and Geneva and long term prospects for growth continue to be positive.

Advisory fees from mandated business continued to grow in the Financial Division, Braemar Naves, although there were fewer material transaction based success fees in the period just ended than had been previously anticipated.

The Felixstowe-based Logistics Division, Cory Brothers, traded in line with the previous year. A review of the strategic options available to maximise the value of this division is underway, which will include an evaluation of potential growth opportunities (both organic and by acquisition).

The Engineering Division, Wavespec, saw continuing losses, with progress delays on the LNG storage technology and further delays with current projects tied to China due to ongoing trade negotiations between the US and China. The board is reassessing the carrying value of Wavespec’s assets and will address all possible alternatives to improve its performance.

Braemar reports that shipping markets have seen significant falls in charter rates since the start of the calendar year, particularly in the larger sizes in the Tanker and Dry Bulk markets, due to reduced import volumes into China.

Until the spread of COVID-19 shows signs of slowing, forecasts for economic growth and global trade are widely expected to continue to fall. Braemar expects this will have an effect on earnings for the first quarter of the year ending February 28, 2021 in the Shipbroking Division.

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