Clarkson says ship-broking good, financial bad, support services mixed


Clarkson says ship-broking good, financial bad, support services mixed

Clarkson PLC (LON:CKN) said the impact from coronavirus on both demand and supply of shipping and ship-broking services has been variable.

The shipping and offshore services and investment banking provider said several members of staff have suffered from the direct effects of Covid-19, including one senior managing director who died from the disease in March.

Reporting on the first quarter to end-March, the company said the period finished with net cash and available funds of £88.5mln, which it said highlighted a “continued day-to-day operational discipline and robust financial position”.

During the quarter, the ship-broking business “performed well”, especially the tanker sector and wet futures, where rates and volumes benefited from the volatility of oil markets.

The financial division had a “very quiet” quarter, with a “small restructuring” put in place to reduce costs after almost all activity ground to a halt.

Research revenues were “broadly” in line with board expectations but the support division saw a downturn from its oil and gas related activities, but renewables, short sea broking and port agency all remain “active” and the division “profitable and busy”.

Looking to the rest of the year, the FTSE 250 group said the ultimate effect on shipping of the inevitable reduction in global economic growth “will depend on both the time to, and speed of, recovery” and so no guidance is possible.

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