Latvian making progress

Latvian Shipping Company (LSC) has reduced its loss in the first half, but wrote down the value of its fleet to reflect oil majors’ stricter vetting procedures.

The Riga-based products tanker owner said its deficit was $8.32m to 30 June, down from $26.6m in the same six months last year.

Revenue was down at $47.35m from $52.41m as it streamlined the fleet to 16 modern tankers worth $385m.

The Vitol-controlled company said it made vessel impairments of $22.7m as it reassessed the useful life of the ships, reducing this from 20 years to 15 years due to charterers’ tightening of requirements relating to vessel age.

There was also a revaluation of investments that wiped $8.35m off the bottom line.

Against this, it banked $20m from a settlement in its UK high court fraud case.

The profit before exceptional items was $3.01m, against $2.82m in 2013.

Chairman Robert Kirkup said: “In the first half of the year the sea transport market did not meet expectations, and, in particular, the performance of the tanker market segment was disappointing.

“But the fleet of the LSC Group mostly operated on time charters; thus we managed to avoid income reduction in this segment.”