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Mixed start to 2013 for Torm

Copenhagen: Tanker rates in the first quarter have outperformed those of the comparable quarter last year reports troubled Danish tanker operator Torm.

However its bulk segment has suffered weaker rates than first quarter 2012. A board statement from Torm's agm reviewed last year's disaster, when the company lost $579m and underwent a massive restructuring, and looks at this year's prospects.

Rates in the first quarter of 2013 have outperformed those in comparible periods for the tanker segment and the outlook is one of continued high exposure on the spot market with long term fixtures for its vessels unlikely until the market recovers. For 2013 the company is expecting changes in refinery locations and slower supply growth in the short term to increase demand, with volatile rates and newbuilding orders adding an amount uncertainty.

This year started on a weaker note for Torm's dry bulk segment compared with the same period in 2012 and the company remains cautious on prospects for the sector given continued high newbuilding activity, a significant dependance on China and seasonal fluctuations.

Aside from special items of $210m and $116m for restructuring costs and impairment loss respectively, the operating loss of $253m was driven by difficult market conditions in both of Torm's main industry sectors, product tankers and dry bulk.

Torm continues to predict a loss before tax of $100-150m for 2013.

Posted 11 April 2013

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