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Group Performance Review

US$ MillionNote20172016Change
Bunker, port disbursement & other voyage costs(701.5)(555.4)-26%
Time-charter equivalent ("TCE") earnings1786.5532.0+48%
Owned vessel costs
  Operating expenses2(139.3)(130.9)-6%
  Net finance costs4(32.3)(32.8)+2%
Charter costs5(451.0)(305.5)-48%
Operating performance before overheads56.3(34.3)>+100%
Total G&A overheads6(54.4)(52.9)-3%
Underlying profit/(loss)2.2(87.7)>+100%
Unrealised derivative income75.423.6
Office relocation costs8(1.4)-
Vessel impairments9(0.8)(15.2)
Sales of towage vessels9(0.5)(4.9)
Towage exchange loss9(1.3)(2.8)
Other impairments and disposals-(1.2)
Sales of properties-1.7
Profit/(loss) attributable to shareholder3.6(86.5)>+100%
Net profit margin1%(8%)+9%
Return on average equity employed1%(9%)+10%
+/- Note: In our tabulated figures, positive changes represent an improving result and negative changes represent a worsening result.


  1. Total time-charter equivalent (“TCE”) earnings increased by 48%, mainly due to the significantly improved market conditions in 2017 from a historically low level in 2016.
  2. Total operating expenses of our owned vessels increased by 6% as our owned fleet expanded, but our daily vessel costs reduced primarily through scale benefits and continued cost control.
  3. Depreciation of our owned vessels increased by 11% as our owned fleet expanded, but with lower daily cost principally due to the addition of lower cost acquisitions.
  4. Net finance costs were substantially unchanged.
  5. Charter costs include the write-back of the onerous contract provisions. The costs increased by 48% owing to the increased chartered days and higher charter rates as a result of improving market conditions.
  6. The increase in total G&A overheads was attributable primarily to an increase in staff-related costs as our owned fleet expanded.
  7. An unrealised derivative income from bunker swap contracts was as a result of increase in oil and bunker prices.
  8. The one-off office relocation costs related to the relocation of the Hong Kong headquarters to a better and more cost efficient office.
  9. The sale of remaining towage assets resulted in a capital loss and the release of their related non-cash exchange loss from reserves to the income statement. This concluded our complete exit from the towage business.
  10. EBITDA substantially increased mainly due to the significantly improved market conditions in 2017. Our cash and deposits at the year end stood at US$244.7 million (2016: US$269.2 million) with net gearing of 35% (2016: 34%).
US$ Million20172016
Dry BulkTowageOthersTotalDry BulkTowageOthersTotal
Operating performance before overheads56.7(0.6)0.256.3(34.9)1.1(0.5)(34.3)
Total G&A overheads(53.5)(0.9)-(54.4)(51.7)(1.2)-(52.9)
Underlying profit/(loss)2.6(0.5)0.12.2(87.6)(0.1)-(87.7)
Other exceptions--1.41.4--1.21.2
Profit/(loss) attributable to shareholder2.6(0.5)1.53.6(87.6)(0.1)1.2(86.5)

EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) is our gross profit less indirect general and administrative overheads, excluding: depreciation and amortisation; exchange differences; share-based compensation; net unrealised bunker swap contract income and expenses; net unrealised forward freight agreements income and expenses; utilised onerous contract provisions; and Charter Hire Reduction adjustments.

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