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VLGC strength offsets offshore slump at Milaha

VLGC strength offsets offshore slump at Milaha
Milaha has reported a 10% increase in profit to QAR1bn ($274m) as a strong performance from its tanker business offset profit drops in its logistics and offshore businesses.

Milaha Gas and Petrochem, which owns and operates a fleet of LPG carriers, LNG carriers and traditional crude and product tankers, reported a 58.7% increase in profit to QAR432.6m for 2014, up from QAR273.4m in 2013. The profit growth owed in particular to a significant increase in VLGC charter rates, as the market his record highs.

The group's offshore segment posted a profit of QAR91.9m, down 46% on 2013's QAR172.5m. Costs at subsidiary Halul Offshore rose as new vessel deliveries and deployments were delayed, and unexpected offhire hit some vessels in the fleet.

Milaha Maritime and Logistics, which deals with feeder activity in the container market, bulk shipping and port management, also saw profits fall, from QR116.5m to QR113m. The company attributes the drop to one-off non-operational expenses related to vessel impairments.

"We have continued to build on 2013's record results, and this is due to the solid foundation we have in place with the group," said Sheikh Ali bin Jassim Al Thani, chairman and md of Milaha.

"We are extremely pleased with our overall results, particularly given where we were at the end of the first half of 2014," said Khalifa Ali Al-Hetmi, president and ceo. "The increase in project-related activity in Qatar improved trade volumes while the Qatar equity markets rebounded from the decline in the second quarter."