Wallenius Wilhelmsen reports EBITDA of USD 168 million in the fourth quarter. While results continue to be impacted by a weak market and higher bunker prices, good progress on the performance improvement program partly mitigates the market challenges. Wallenius Wilhelmsen also announces its first dividend proposal since the merger. Total income was USD 1 022 million in the fourth quarter, down 1% compared to the same period last year due to lower revenues for the ocean segment. The landbased segment saw revenue growth of 8% in the same period. The reduction in ocean revenues were driven by lower net freight which was partly offset by increased fuel cost compensation from customers.
EBITDA ended at USD 168 million in the fourth quarter, a decline of 8% from EBITDA (adjusted) of USD 182 million in the fourth quarter last year. As for the previous quarters in 2018, the results were negatively impacted by higher bunker prices, lower rates, and reduced HMG volumes. In addition, biosecurity issues in Australia and New Zealand, and weaker project cargo shipments in the Atlantic, had a negative effect. On the positive side, there was a slight improvement in the cargo mix, full effect of synergies and good progress on the performance improvement program compared to the previous year. EBITDA for the landbased segment was USD 22 million in the fourth quarter.
Results and operating margins for the fourth quarter was at a satisfactory level given the current market conditions but below the results we would like to see and deliver. I am therefore very pleased to see good traction for the performance improvement program with more than USD 50 million already confirmed. I am also delighted to be able announce the first dividend proposal from Wallenius Wilhelmsen since the merger, says Craig Jasienski, President and CEO of Wallenius Wilhelmsen ASA.
The board maintains a balanced view on the prospects for Wallenius Wilhelmsen. However, there is increased uncertainty around the volume outlook in light of weaker auto sales in certain markets, potential risk of trade barriers and a slightly softer macro picture. Market rates remain at a low level, but tonnage balance is gradually improving.
Wallenius Wilhelmsen has a solid platform for growth and is well positioned to succeed in a challenging market. Furthermore, the new two-year performance improvement program will support improved profitability going forward.