KUALA LUMPUR: MISC Bhd posted a higher net profit of RM1.43 bil for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2019 from RM1.31 bil in the preceding year.

Revenue went up to RM8.96 bil versus RM8.78 bil, while basic earnings per share stood at 32 sen, up from 29.40 sen.

In a filing to Bursa Malaysia, the shipping company said the higher revenue was contributed mainly by the petroleum shipping segment, which was able to reap some of the benefits of the robust albeit volatile market and ended the year on a stronger note.

“The tanker market is widely expected to remain firm in 2020 due to fewer deliveries and growing long-haul prospects as well as demand growth arising from the International Maritime Organisation 2020 sulphur cap implementation.

“However, the recent Covid-19 virus outbreak has posed some risks to the oil and tanker market, and while the impact is currently uncertain, the tanker market could face short-term headwinds if the outbreak is not contained or if the situation escalates,” it said.

Meanwhile, in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipping segment, spot rates ended the year lower compared to the previous year mainly due to lack of demand owing to mild winter and high inventories.

However, liquefaction expansion in North America and the Middle East is expected to lead to an increased requirement for vessels and this should support charter rates going forward, it said.

MISC said the group’s present portfolio of long-term charters will underwrite the steady performance of MISC’s LNG business segment, and the two long-term contracts secured in fourth quarter 2019 will provide growth in future years. – Feb 18, 2020, Bernama

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