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Boskalis to axe lower segment heavy lift shipping

Boskalis is to sever a section of its cargo shipping activities. The Dutch dredging/civil engineering and maritime infrastructure and services group plans to cut the loss-making "lower segment" of seaborne offshore-related project cargo transportation activities and to sell 11 closed-stern type IIb and III heavy lift ships

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“We’ll fully withdraw from this segment, as it has no outlook for us,” said CEO Peter Berdowski at the presentation of Boskalis’s H1 2018 results. “This lower end of the market is causing us to slide downwards in the market, and it isn’t strategically interesting for us anyway."


The main reasons given for the exit are that this spotmarket is increasingly becoming a "volatile non-oil and gas related commodity transport market, which is structurally facing Asian overcapacity."


To absorb the sale of the older and smaller ships involved - to be effected in the coming 12 months - Boskalis has booked a one-off extraordinary €397M write-off of goodwill and the ships involved in the H1 2018 result.


"In the high end of the offshore-related seaborne heavy lift transportation market, we are distinctive, however, and this fully fits in our strategy," Boskalis stressed.

One of the closed stern Dockwise vessels that Boskalis is putting up for sale
One of the closed stern Dockwise vessels that Boskalis is putting up for sale

The Dutch group’s salvage division had a good first half year, thanks to some smaller emergency response assignments and the successful salvage of the fire-stricken ULCC MAERSK HOMAN in the Arabian Sea. Its towage operations face lower margins from the price erosion in container shipping. Goodwill value with two joint ventures had to be lowered for this reason.


Boskalis reported a €361M net profit in H1 following both the €397M write-off. Turnover was €1.165B (€1.09B in H1 2017 ), as the order book as of 30 June 2018 totalled €3.88B (+ €640M year-on-year).


Boskalis anticipates a significantly higher net operational profit during H2 2018.

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