29/07/2018 08:09 AST

National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia, or Bahri - one of the world's biggest operators of large oil vessels - posted a 20 per cent year-on-year rise in net profit for the second quarter of 2018, driven by stronger performance across its business units and an increase in its fleet of vessels, it said.

Net profit for the three months ending June 30 stood at 185.4 million riyals, up from 153.91m riyals in the year-earlier period, Bahri said in a filing to the Tadawul stock exchange, where its shares are traded.

The company’s total revenues from operations increased 8 per cent to 1.49 billion riyals in the second quarter, from 1.39bn riyals in the corresponding period of 2017.

The “substantial” growth in financial results was driven largely by strong performance of Bahri’s business units, which include Bahri Oil, Bahri Logistics, Bahri Chemicals, Bahri Dry Bulk, and Bahri Ship Management, the company said in its filing.

Meanwhile, the addition of new vessels to Bahri’s fleet over the last six months helped it offset any negative impact of lower transportation rates during the quarter on the company’s overall performance.

“Despite continued challenges in the global maritime sector, including lower spot market rates in general and particularly in oil transportation, and an increase in bunker costs, Bahri registered solid growth on all counts for the second quarter of 2018,” said Abdullah Aldubaikhi, chief executive of Bahri. “We have been making significant investments towards strengthening our fleet and adopting new technologies in our operations. These efforts have paid off in the form of increased performance in various business units.”

With the ongoing recovery in emerging economies and subsequent pick-up in international trade, the coming quarters are projected to perform even better, Mr Aldubaikhi added. “We are confident of sustaining our growth momentum through 2018,” he said.

Bahri is the world’s largest owner and operator of VLCCs (very large crude carriers), with around 46 owned vessels. The company said on Wednesday one of its oil vessels suffered minor damage due to an incident in the Red Sea. A Saudi-led military coalition had said earlier that Yemen’s Houthi movement attacked a Saudi oil tanker in the Red Sea, but did not name the vessel.

Bahri said its VLCC “suffered minor damage and no human injuries or environmental damage have been reported”. Saudi Arabia has temporarily halted oil shipments through the Bab al-Mandeb shipping lane following an attack by Houthis this week.


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