InterBulk held back by tough trading in Europe

InterBulk said the weak euro has affected its earnings
InterBulk said the weak euro has affected its earnings
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Chemicals transportation firm InterBulk expects to deliver flat annual profits amid tough trading in Europe and the weakness of the single currency.

The East Kilbride-based group said adjusted pre-tax profits for the year to 30 September would be in line with the previous year’s figure, which came in at £3.2 million.

Although it has seen some “encouraging” growth in the Americas and Asia during the year, InterBulk said it has not seen any significant pick-up in activity in Europe in the second half, which has affected its liquid and dry bulk activity levels. “Given the substantial proportion of euro-denominated business transacted by the group, the continuing weakness of the euro against sterling has had a negative impact on the group’s sterling reported revenue and operating profit,” the firm said in today’s trading update.

Chief executive Loek Kullberg said the company was also working to refinance its existing debt facilities, due to expire next September, and its net debt was forecast to fall for the sixth year running.

He added: “Over the last 12 months, trading conditions, especially in the European market, have been tough as competitors seek to maintain equipment utilisation during a period of lower growth.

“However, we have demonstrated agility in managing our resources, and utilising our variable cost business model to ensure we deliver a consistent year-on-year profit. Our opportunities for growth are well understood and we have continued to enhance our network resources and capabilities outside Europe, which puts us in a strong position for the future.”