Gulf Navigation Hopes to Defy Downturn

DUBAI - Gulf Navigation Holding, a Dubai-based ship owning and maritime services company, expects to remain profitable despite challenging economic conditions, its chief executive officer Per Wistoft said.



By Abdul Basit

Published: Thu 14 Jan 2010, 11:34 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 4:49 PM

The company will announce its annual results for the year 2009 by the end of this month, Wistoft said. The shipping firm’s net profit jumped by 27.73 per cent to Dh148.23 million in 2008 compared to Dh116.05 million in 2007.

“We hope to be profitable [in 2009],” Wistoft told reporters at his office, adding: “I believe shipping companies in the world will come out with red numbers.”

Wistoft also explained that despite the tough times that the whole world has faced in the previous year, Gulf Navigation was less affected as the company is partly focusing on long-term deals with international companies.

The share price of the only maritime and shipping company listed in the Dubai Financial Market closed at Dh0.57 on Wednesday while it fell 19 per cent in 2009. It touched a high of Dh0.99 on June 14 and low of Dh0.49 on February 5, 2009.

The shipping company is planning to buyback its 10 per cent stocks this year, which will be decided in the board meeting by the end of this month, he said.

“We see shares [price] are very cheap now and its very good time to do it. We have enough cash to do business by the middle of this year,” he said.

“Gulf Navigation is a cash rich company, the thing that enables it to have a very strong position in the market and also allows it to keep its eyes opened in order to capture valuable opportunities. We are in the process of studying a potential new deal of purchasing more ships, but that will be announced when the deal is closed,” Wistoft said.

—abdulbasit@khaleejtimes.com


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