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Bahri posts 441% jump in full year profits on tanker market surge

Photo: Bahri Bahri has seen profits improve (Credit Bahri)[93].jpg
The National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri) has posted a strong performance in 2022 on the back of high oil demand due to unstable global economic and security dynamics.

Full year net profits were up sharply, by 441%, to $278m, while revenues rose 60% to $2.29bn. Gross profits were up 46% to $1.92bn, while operating profits jumped 252% to $398m.

However, the annual result failed to match that of 2020, when full year net profits hit a six-year high of $431m.

Company performance reflects strong demand for Saudi crude in China and elsewhere in Asia, and the fact that Bahri now has 95 vessel in the fleet, with more on order.

Bahri today operates 40 very large crude carriers (VLCCs), 40 chemical and product tankers, six multipurpose vessels and nine dry bulk carriers.

It has not disclosed the reason why its VLCC fleet has fallen from a total of 42 vessels as of October 2021, but said it took delivery of its first ‘gas ready’ VLCC ‘Rayah,’ built by IMI and HHI, that month.

Net profit for the fourth quarter of 2022 was up 529% to $154m, while revenues for the period rose 76% to $725m, compared to the similar period in 2021.

According to The Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, last year, Bahri parent, Aramco, made a final investment decision to develop a multibillion-dollar refinery and petrochemical complex in north-east China.

“Aramco’s chief executive, Amin Nasser, has described China’s energy needs as the primarily state-owned energy company’s ‘highest priority’ for at least the next 50 years,” it said.

Listen to an episode of the Seatrade Maritime Podcast on the outlook for the tanker market in 2023

Some 22% of Bahri’s ownership is held by Saudi sovereign wealth vehicle, the Public Investment Fund, 20% by Saudi Aramco Development Company, with the remainder held in public shares by Saudi nationals.

Full year oil export figures for 2022 are not yet in, but international trade data published by Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Statistics showed that China, Japan and South Korea were the Kingdom’s top merchandise trading partners in the third quarter of last year, as was the case in 2020.

In 2021, Bahri’s revenue by segment was 58% oil, 22% chemicals, 15.1% logistics, 4.7% dry bulk, and 0.2% administrative.

Last year, data provided by VesselsValue showed that Bahri was the top shipowner in the Kingdom, with a fleet estimated to be worth $2.28bn.

Bahri cited improvements in the crude and chemicals transportation sectors, as well as the logistics services segment, as reasons for its robust performance.