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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 25 June 2018

Oil shipper Gulf Navigation on course to expand after Q2 profit

The Dubai shipper recorded a 25 per cent profit increase after navigating troubled waters

Gulf Navigation posted a good second quarter.  Jeffrey E Biteng / The National
Gulf Navigation posted a good second quarter. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

Dubai-listed Gulf Navigation announced a second-quarter profit while revenues dipped after settling legal and financial battles.

The shipper recorded a 25 per cent increase in profits to Dh10 million in the quarter ending in June, up from Dh8m a year earlier. However, revenues fell to Dh31m, a 5.4 per cent drop from Dh32.8m in the same period last year.

Khamis Buamim, the group chief executive of Gulf Navigation, said the firm had addressed the outstanding legal, financial and administrative issues while launching a new brand that reflects a new business strategy.

“Since we started a new phase to improve our performance and expand our business scope, our strategy focused on three main pillars: expansion, growth and permanence,” he said.

The company announced in February a settlement with a basket of creditors after two oil tankers were seized by the banks DVB, BNP Paribas and DNB. The very large crude carriers (VLCCs) were confiscated by the financiers as a result of Gulf Navigation defaulting on payments.

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Dubai’s Gulf Navigation in settlement over Gulf Sheba and Gulf Eyadah

Gulf Navigation appoints new group chief executive

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Mr Buamim has been working to improve the company’s financial standing since his appointment as the chief executive last year, including the plans to issue a US$250m sukuk. The ship operator said in a Dubai stock exchange filing in April that the sukuk would be issued through a public offering, at a profit rate of less than 10 per cent. Gulf Navigation said the sukuk issuance was still on the books, after choosing First Abu Dhabi Bank to manage the release, which will help the company to shore up capital for future investments, but gave no timeline for the issuance.

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Gulf Navigation looks to issue $250mn sukuk for expansion

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The shipper is aiming to triple its profits over the next four years, while upping fleet size to add 20 vessels by the second half of 2020.

“We are determined to increase our profit and we’re looking forward to more success that will ensure great returns to our partners and shareholders,” Mr Buamim said.

The company is diversifying its portfolio to include a complete set of options to create a one-stop shop to provide integrated maritime services. Gulf Navigation said last month that it also planned to announce three joint ventures over the next quarter.

Mr Buamim said that would contribute to increasing Gulf Navigation’s assets and added-value for shareholders.