In a challenging year for the shipping industry, Bunker Holding today reported the third–highest results in its history. In a contracting market, the Group increased its volume, gained market share, and strengthened its position as the world’s leading bunkering company, it said on Wednesday (30 June).
Bunker Holding achieved earnings before tax of USD 70.3 million. Revenue was impacted by both the pandemic and lower oil prices, and even though the result is lower than the previous year’s record-setting profit, it is very satisfying.
“This has been a very challenging year for everyone in the industry. Nevertheless, our company has never been stronger,” states Keld R Demant, CEO of Bunker Holding. “Following our record year of 2019/20, we maintained momentum in the midst of a pandemic that impacted most of our employees and disrupted markets globally.”
Nearly all employees in Bunker Holding’s offices around the world were forced to work from home. But, because of the Group’s significant investments in its IT systems over the past several years, traders could immediately continue giving clients the usual level of service.
This, together with Bunker Holding’s industry-leading financial strength delivering the muscles to support all stakeholders in a turbulent market, enabled the Group to increase volume significantly – even though it was facing diminished global bunker demand.
Because the pandemic also impacted oil prices negatively, more than offsetting the increased volume, the year’s revenue was USD 9,769 million.
Agility and fast decision making
During the year, the Group acquired OceanConnect Marine, merged it with KPI Bridge Oil – part of the Bunker Holding Group – and created one of the biggest bunker companies globally, with 170 employees in 15 locations around the world. The merger was accomplished in just four months, and the entire process, including due diligence, was handled in-house.
“I think our ability to seamlessly integrate two such large companies at such a challenging time speaks volumes about our strengths,” says Keld R Demant. “In many ways, this past year has been our finest hour.”
Bunker One, Bunker Holding’s independent physical supplier, also managed to make steady headway by expanding market share and strengthening its physical operations. The company strengthened its foothold in the Caribbean and Brazil, and assumed operation of the Port of Skaw oil terminal at the northern tip of Denmark in June last year.
The value of family ownership
Bunker Holding’s ability to navigate through the pandemic owes much to its ownership by the Østergaard-Nielsen family. As part of the USTC Group Bunker Holding is able to act with agility and make fast decision which enabled it to adapt in record time to radically new working conditions under the pandemic.
The family’s active ownership also allowed Bunker Holding to not only keep a steady course during the crisis, but also make long-term plans. This includes the industry’s transition to sustainable fuels over the coming years and decades. While oil will remain the fuel of choice for most clients for the foreseeable future, the Group insists to be at the forefront of this green revolution and is actively preparing for the next steps and advising clients on the way forward.
Photo credit: Bunker Holding
Published: 1 July, 2021
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