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Coal transport demand slump hits Norden in Q3

Coal transport demand slump hits Norden in Q3
Danish shipowner Norden has reported a third quarter loss of $45.5m as its dry cargo segment was hit by falling coal demand.

The $45.4m Q3 loss plunges Norden into the red against a $567,000 profit in the same period last year. The result brings the company's loss for the first three quarters to $113.7m, adding to a $32.9m loss in the first nine months of last year.

Revenues for the quarter were down from $536.2m in 2013 to $451.5m and costs of $462.3 outweighed revenues for a $10.7m EBITDA loss.

The company's tanker segment lost $2.1m in the quarter, down from a $2.3m profit in Q3 2013. A recent drop in the oil price has increased activity across all vessel sizes, leading to a "very positive start to the fourth quarter."

Although the Norden fleet outperformed the market, a falling demand for coal transport led to a $34.3m loss for the dry cargo arm, adding to a $1.1m loss in the third quarter last year. Chinese coal imports were down 22% compared to last year as the country imposes a 6% tax on coal imports and imposes import limits on its coal-fired power stations.

Interim ceo Klaus Nyborg, who is due to be replaced by Pacific Basin's coo Jan Rindbo next year, commented: ”In terms of results, the third quarter ended as expected at the beginning of the quarter. The challenging market conditions in dry cargo continued, and the tanker market experienced good activity with further improvement at the beginning of the fourth quarter. Norden outperformed the market in both segments and maintains its expectations for full-year results. The weak market development may provide attractive opportunities.”

Norden's full year expectation is an EBITDA range from breakeven to a $60m loss.