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Share sales boost CMB's profits

Share sales boost CMB's profits
Antwerp: Compagnie Maritime Belge (CMB) reported a profit of $130m on a turnover of $656m in 2012.

The Euronext Brussels listed company, which owns a fleet of handysizes through subsidiary Bocimar, saw a profit from its bulk operations of of $51.9m in 2012, a drop from the $107m contribution Bocimar made in 2011 and almost entirely consisting of a $51.7m capital gain on the sale of shares in the Australian miner Fortescue Metals Group (FMG). CMB's results were further aided by a capital gain $41m on the divestment of interest in Clarksons and the sale of FMG shares held by the company.

The company has made a strategic decision not to pursue its previous strategy of long term coverage for its fleet due to the poor long term prospects of the market, thus increasing its exposure to the spot market and better positioning itself for a recovery of rates.

Earlier this month Bocimar cancelled the newbuilding Tsuneishi SC 145 at Tuneishi Heavy Industries' Philippines facility after the yard was unable to meet the agreed delivery date. The contract for the vessel was bought at cost by Bocimar from Jinhui Shipping in 2007, just one week after Jinhui signed the deal with the yard. All advances were repaid by the yard, including interest.

CMB's wholly owned subsidiary Bohandymar Ltd ordered four handysize eco-bulk vessels from Samjin Shipbuilding Industries Korea earlier this year, adding to the existing order of six units placed in 2011. Two of the four vessels are scheduled for delivery in 2014 with the remainder due for delivery in 2015.

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