Eimskip sails in with higher growth and profit – Fishupdate.com

Eimskip sails in with higher growth and profit Published:  20 September, 2007

EIMSKIP, the big Icelandic refrigerated shipping and cold storage company, a major mover of fish into the UK and Europe, has just announced nine months of significant growth and progress.

As well as being a major force in shipping, the company is the world’s largest owner of cold store with around 200 stores in some five continents.

For the nine months financial period ended July 31, Eimskip announced increased turnover of 1,184million euros (around £82million sterling) and earnings before interest, taxes and depreciation of 100million euros (about £69million).

The company, which has a base on the Humber near Grimsby, said operations continued to be characterised by steady growth in turnover and profits and a lot of effort had been put into the integration and restructuring of new acquisitions.

Chief executive Baldur Gudnason, said: “Our long term strategy is to build a worldwide network of temperature controlled transportation and warehousing services and we have simplified our operations in this area. We are currently a key international player in this field and we strive to seize an increased share in the upcoming growth of this industry.”

Eimskip’s policy is to offer a complete logistics service for the entire trip from the fisherman and grower to the retailer, through its European and global network.

Eimskip acquired the cold and frozen storage company Versacold Income Fund in Canada at the beginning of August. Versacold is the third largest cold storage company in Canada and North America, in addition to running extensive activities in Australia, New Zealand and Argentina.

Iceland’s Glitnir Bank said last night that the owners of Eimskip believe the takeover provides good support for the company’s international transport network, in addition to offering potential for rationalisation.

The company’s performance in coming quarters will be determined by how successful the integration of operations following external growth in the past year will prove. Whatever else, the deal has made Eimskip the largest frozen foods handler in the world and it is now looking to expand into the US market. It added that Versacold will enter the group’s operations in the fourth financial quarter and turnover in the year would therefore clearly increase substantially.

Glitnir also said the company’s high financing costs could be partly explained by a short-term loan due to the takeover of Atlas Cold Storage at the beginning of the year. Atlas owns numerous properties which will be sold. According to Eimskip’s management, the estimated value of the properties is close to 400million euros.

In July, Eimskip was reportedly set to increase its sea transport tariffs. The newspaper Morgunbladid reported at the time that the increase was caused by caused by higher costs at foreign ports, general increases in price and the rising cost of wages. Fuel costs are also thought to be a major factor.

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