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Mon 2 Feb 2009 10:36 AM

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Shipping firms must 'rethink' business strategies - CEO

Gulf Navigation Holding is expanding its fleet this year despite the economic crisis.

Gulf Navigation Holding has claimed shipping companies that fail to adapt their business strategies to the economic downturn will struggle in 2009.

Per Wistoft, CEO of the Dubai-based shipping services business, admitted 2009 would be a difficult year before adding, “the situation for the industry as a whole is not encouraging, but the crude and chemical sector is still the healthiest amid other shipping sectors.

“The current global economic climate creates an environment where all stakeholders will have to rethink their strategies and many will struggle.

However, this may also create opportunities to which we feel we are well positioned to benefit from.”

Wistoft’s comments come after the company revealed its financial figures for 2008 on Monday.

Gulf Navigation registered a $40.3m profit increase – up 27.7 percent compared with the $31.5m generated in 2007.  

This year, Gulf Navigation has proposed an eight percent cash dividend of the share capital, equivalent to eight fils per share.

It has also confirmed plans to expand its tanker fleet, despite the adverse economic conditions.

On Jan.5, Gulf Navigation received a new chemical tanker on a 15 year charter and is expecting three more ships to join the fleet this year.

“Going forward, we anticipate a series of operation and management initiatives that will add shareholder value in 2009,” Wistoft added.

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