13 May 2009

AGM and Interim Management Statement

Clarksons, the world's leading shipping services group, today announces its Interim Management Statement published in accordance with the UK Listing Authority's Disclosure and Transparency Rules, for the period from 1 January 2009 to 12 May 2009.

At the Annual General Meeting to be held in London today, Bob Benton, Chairman of Clarksons, will make the following statement:


Trading conditions since our 2008 Preliminary results, announced on 16 March, have continued to remain challenging. Most of the world's largest economies are in recession and the resultant decline in international trade, combined with a lack of available finance, has affected the Group's revenues through reduced asset values and freight rates. Notwithstanding this backdrop, the Group is trading in line with management's expectations for the current year.


Spot revenues in the broking division continue to be affected by significantly reduced freight rates, although this has been partially offset by the strength of the US$ against Sterling and the forward order book brought forward at the start of 2009. The division has maintained volumes across most markets and increased them in some, albeit at lower rates. Whilst Sale and Purchase has suffered in volume terms, we are encouraged that activity is now beginning to return to this market. Against this backdrop, we continue to benefit from a flight to quality, as our global network is proving invaluable to clients.


Revenues from our futures broking business have also been affected by the fall in freight rates. Levels of activity in dry forward freight agreements have, however, increased modestly, reflecting periods of volatility and increasing market share. The Clarkson Shipping Hedge Fund has returned to positive performance for the year to date and we continue to actively market this product to new investors.

Clarkson Investment Services, our new investment banking operation, is making good progress. Although this new business is being developed in challenging market conditions, we are very encouraged by our clients' reception to this new operation.


Port & Agency and Technical Services activities have shown modest revenue growth during the year to date and continue to trade in line with our expectations.


Research continues to be essential to the added value that Clarkson brings to its client base and the Group's ability to innovate. As global economic uncertainty continues and as shipping markets experience more rapidly changing demand and supply conditions, information is even more vital to our clients. As a result, we have experienced increased demand for these services in 2009 to date.


Although it continues to be difficult to anticipate how the broad number of markets in which we operate will react to developments in global economies and financial markets over the coming months, there is little doubt that Clarkson is benefiting from the breadth of its global services and network, its forward order book, and the relative strength of the US$. We have maintained a tight discipline on costs and continue to benefit from the Group's strongly cash generative nature and solid financial position.


Clarkson PLC - 020 7334 0000
Andi Case, Chief Executive
Jeff Woyda, Finance Director

Hudson Sandler - 020 7796 4133
Jessica Rouleau/Kate Hough