Russian record

Russian tanker giant Sovcomflot has posted its best ever profit in the first six months in strong freight markets.

The owner, which merged with rival Novoship during the period, said net profit to 30 June was $330.05m, compared to $239.88m in the same half of 2007.
Revenue jumped to $807.17m from $632.1m the year before.

Boss Sergey Frank said the result reflected strong freight market conditions and a clear strategy.

He added: “Significant progress has been made with the ongoing integration of Sovcomflot and Novoship. At an operational level, we continue to add new and highly sophisticated tonnage to our fleet, while broadening our business model to provide customers with fully integrated seaborne energy solutions.”

Sovcomflot said the tanker market had performed better in the first half than at any time in the past decade. It mentioned pressure on operating costs however.

It added: “As well as current activities such as shipowning, shipmanagement and terminal operations, in the future the group plans to add new and related activities such as the operation of offshore supply vessels and drilling rigs.”

Sovcomflot has 97.5% of Novoship. Commercial operations were merged and international sales activities unified at Sovcomflot in the UK on 1 July.

Its policy is to time charter 70% of its fleet, with the rest playing the spot market.