TTA's bumper quarter

Bangkok-based Thoresen Thai Agencies saw third quarter net profits surge by 310% to THB 255m ($8m), its best third quarter operational result in five years and a significant turnaround from the net losses of THB 121m during the same period last year.

The strongest performers in the TTA business portfolio this quarter were its dry-bulk arm Thoresen Shipping and its offshore division Mermaid Maritime.

On the dry side, despite a generally weak market during the quarter due to the Indonesian ban on the export of nickel ore and bauxite, and significant delays in the South American grain export season, Thoresen Shipping’s net profity climbed by 396% year-on-year to THB 79 million.

Freight revenues came in at THB 1,739m, up 52% year-on-year.

During this quarter, Thoresen Shipping operated an average of 38.8 vessels (20.2 owned vessels and 18.6 chartered-in vessels), up from an average of 27.7 vessels (15.9 owned vessels and 11.8 chartered-in vessels) in the same period last fiscal year.

The company notes that Time Charter Equivalent (“TCE”) still improved 10% year-on-year, as a result of effective cost management and operational strengths.

On the offshore side, Mermaid Maritime delivered what is described as its best third quarter result ever, with THB 241m net profit, up 30% from the same period last year. It attributes this to solid demand for subsea vessels and related services, driven by steady offshore oil and gas exploration and production activities.

Total revenue stood at THB 2,523m, up 5% year-on-year. Revenue growth from the subsea business was backed by 10% year-on-year higher day rates for owned vessels, while the average subsea vessel utilization rate in Q3 2014 was 66%, slightly lower than 75% in Q3 2013.

Equity income from Mermaid’s 33.8%-owned associate company Asia

Offshore Drilling surged to THB 240m in this quarter from THB 30m for the same period in 2013.

TTA’s non-shipping businesses also recorded significant improvements during the quarter. Fertilizer company Banconco brought in a net profit of THB 81m, while coal trading division UMS narrowed its losses to THB 6m in the quarter from average losses of THB 35m in the first and second quarters.