Goldenport eyes container ship acquisitions


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15 Nov 2010

goldenport12_thumb.jpgGreek shipping group Goldenport Holdings will look at container ship acquisitions in the coming months, helped by an improving market and a war chest of over $150 million, its commercial director said

Global turmoil in 2008 battered the container market, especially on key
routes from Asia to consumers in the West carrying finished goods from
electronics to toys. But trade volumes have been picking up in recent
months with the growth of emerging economies such as those in India and

Athens-headquartered Goldenport, which listed on the London Stock
Exchange in 2006, owns and operates a fleet of container and dry bulk

"We have a lot of room in the balance sheet for more acquisitions ...
we have the ability to grow," John Dragnis told Reuters in an interview.

"Do we want to do it at this particular moment? Yes, but very
selectively and very, very carefully -- most likely I would say in the
medium-sized container market," he said, adding the group's war chest
was between $150 million and $200 million.

Goldenport said it was on track with its programme to take delivery of
three vessels in 2010 and a further four in early 2011, which had been
previously ordered, taking its total fleet to 26 container and dry bulk

Dragnis said conditions in the container sector had improved in recent
months, helped by the scrapping of vessels and a rebound in demand on
intra-Asia trade routes and on others such as North America to South
America and Europe to West Africa.

"The West is still suffering. More localised, niche trades are doing much better than the long haul in terms of growth."

Maersk Line, the world's biggest container shipper, said on Thursday it
was optimistic for next year on strong demand growth from emerging
markets and stable freight rates. South Korea's Hanjin Shipping said
this week container demand was expected to outpace ship supply.

Dragnis said it was unlikely that Goldenport would "grow substantially on the dry (bulk) side".

He said the Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index was expected to be
a "little bit softer" on average next year compared with the current
average. The index, which tracks rates to ship dry commodities, fell
3.59 percent to 2,366 points on Thursday.

"The order book is not good for the supply-demand equation. However, (dry bulk) demand remains and will remain robust," he said.

Chief Financial Officer Christos Varsos said analyst consensus
estimates of $120 million to $130 million for Goldenport's full-year
revenue in 2011 were "reasonable". Revenue estimates for 2010 were
around $90 million, he added.

"What the analysts think about the numbers for next year are pretty much realisable," Varsos said.

Its shares were 0.39 percent lower at 130.4 pence at 1404 GMT.

Source: Reuters


Maersk Line is one of the leading liner shipping companies in the world, serving customers all over the globe.

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