Clarkson reported healthy annual results as revenues rose 6 per cent to £324m in 2017.
Its pre-tax profits dropped 5 per cent to £45m, although this reflected its one-off sale in 2016 of a stake in maritime trading house Baltic Exchange. Excluding this and a writedown related to Clarkson’s 2014 purchase of Platou, underlying pre-tax profits increased 12 per cent to £50.2m.
“We start 2018, as we did 2017, with lower forward visibility of earnings from a lower forward order book […] We are encouraged by the rebalancing of supply and demand we are seeing across the shipping industry”, chief executive Andi Case said.
He added that the rates clients were paying for “spot” orders “have been improving”, however, which “during 2017 more than offset the lower forward order book brought forward.”
The company also announced a dividend of 73p per share. “The business continues to generate significant cash flows to fund investment and drive shareholder returns, reflected in our 15th year of consecutive increased dividend pay-out,” Case said.