09 May 2014

AGM and Interim Management Statement

Clarksons, the world's leading shipping services group, has today announced its Interim Management Statement published in accordance with the UK Listing Authority's Disclosure and Transparency Rules, for the period from 1 January 2014 to 8 May 2014 ("the period").

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

Trading
 
Activity in a number of shipping markets has improved compared to the same period last year, with increases in both asset values and volatility in rates as a result of the reduced imbalance between supply and demand.
 
Broking
 
The average ClarkSea Index for the period was higher than the average for the whole of 2013. The strength and breadth of our teams has meant that we have been at the forefront of activity, once again improving transaction volumes across most chartering sectors, and from the sale and purchase of underlying assets.
 
Financial
 
Our Financial businesses have continued to increase profitability and are currently at or above breakeven, reflecting the effects of management action and investment in capability.  Revenue from banking transactions and equity sales and trading within Clarkson Capital Markets has continued to grow. Futures broking revenue within Clarkson Securities has also increased, due to increases in market volumes and higher rates which have resulted from greater volatility.
 
Support
 
As expected, our port and agency business has already benefited from the Gibb Tools acquisition made at the end of 2013. 
 
Research
 
Research underpins all of Clarksons' services and in challenging trading conditions the value it offers our clients is more important than ever. We continue to grow and develop the breadth and depth of our offer and have seen an increase in sales from research activities during the period.
 
Board Changes
 
As previously announced, Philip Green resigns from the board today.  The board would like to thank Philip for his contribution over the past year and wish him well with his new endeavours.

Peter Backhouse, Clarksons' senior independent director, is leading the search process for a new chairman.
 
Outlook
 
Clarksons' trading in 2014 is in line with the Board's expectations, representing a significant improvement over the results of 2013.  This is despite the weakness in the US dollar, the principal trading currency for the Group.
 
Our proven strategy and strong balance sheet enable us to provide the best service to our clients and, with market conditions continuing to improve, the Board looks forward to the future with confidence.

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

Hudson Sandler:
Andrew Nicolls
Katie Matthews
020 7796 4133