Brazilian tugboat trade buoys Ocean

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The Independent Online
HIGHER VOLUMES of trade through Brazilian ports helped to lift profits from pounds 5.1m to pounds 6.9m in 1992 at Ocean Wilsons, the Bermuda-registered tugboat operator, writes John Murray.

Ocean is Brazil's largest tugboat group with a fleet of more than 60 craft. It is listed in London but moved its domicile to Bermuda last year, partly for tax reasons.

Edwin Tiedeman, a director, said the company benefited from a greater throughput at the ports in Brazil, despite the recession there. The results were flattered by better dollar/sterling exchange rates, as most of Ocean's earnings are in Brazilian cruzeiros, which are linked to the dollar.

Mr Tiedeman said the trading results in dollar terms were still 25 per cent better despite difficult market conditions. Overall turnover in sterling terms rose 41 per cent to pounds 109m.

Ocean's other business is a UK investment portfolio, which showed net growth of 16 per cent, although the portfolio as a whole rose in value just 3.9 per cent, as stock was sold to meet other group costs.

Mr Tiedeman said the company was still in discussions with the Inland Revenue over possible capital gains liabilities arising from the move to Bermuda. He expected agreement to be reached this year.

Earnings per share rose 46 per cent to 6.39p and the final dividend is lifted 9 per cent to 4p gross.

The shares rose 8p to 59p.