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Sun 31 Jan 2010 10:35 AM

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Dubai shipping firm sees net profit sink by 82%

Gulf Navigation chiefs eye 'year of expansion' following challenging 2009.

Dubai shipping firm sees net profit sink by 82%
SHIP SHAPE: Gulf Navigations 2009 net profits fell by 82 percent. (Getty Images - for illustrative purposes only)

Shipping company Gulf Navigation Holding on Sunday announced net profits of AED26.5m in 2009, an 82 percent drop compared to AED148.2m in the previous year.

Revenues for the firm, Dubai’s only publicly traded oil-tanker owner, were also down last year due to lower freight rates, it said in a statement.

GulfNav generated AED338.2m in revenues in 2009, compared to AED395.9m for 2008 while total assets stood at AED2.93bn, compared to AED3.04bn the previous year.

The statement added that the GulfNav board has also approved a share buyback strategy to be implemented during 2010.

Abdullah Al Shuraim, chairman of GulfNav, said: “Although 2009 was a very challenging year for the marine industry, GulfNav’s performance was remarkable. We generated profits, positive cash flow and operated our vessels to the satisfaction of our clients."

He said 2010 would be "a year of expansion", adding: "We believe that tanker prices are now more realistic, and combined with our strong cash position, we will be able to expand our fleet to meet the tremendous growth of Gulf chemical and oil production in the beginning of 2012."

Per Wistoft, GulfNav CEO, added: "The Year 2009 was predictably difficult, yet we successfully managed to turn it into a great achievement. Global drop in oil consumption, combined with delivery of new vessels had an unprecedented effect on shipping rates.

"We are very optimistic about 2010 and confident that we will be able to take advantage of the opportunities it presents."

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