“During the period under review trading was in line with the Board’s expectations.”
Trading for the three months ended 31 May 2015 in the Shipbroking division was in line with our expectations and we continue to reap the benefits of greater scale and a more cost efficient structure. The tanker markets, which are the largest part of our Shipbroking business, have continued to experience high rates and activity supported by increased worldwide oil production and refining activity. The dry cargo market remains more challenging, suffering from a surplus of tonnage and a slow-down in demand and we expect the market to take some time to return to a more reasonable balance. The fall in the oil price has favoured the tanker market but has led to reduced Offshore activity as exploration activity has been curtailed or deferred. Overall, the balance of our portfolio and the strength of our teams means that Braemar is resilient in the face of changeable markets. We have also been involved in concluding some good tanker and LNG secondhand sale and purchase business.
The performance of the Technical Services division for the three months to 31 May 2015 was ahead of the equivalent period last year and in line with our expectations. In particular, Braemar Engineering, which specialises in LNG consultancy and design performed strongly as expected, partly offset by some reduction in offshore related business.
The ship agency business started the year well as a result of buoyant tanker market activity, although this was partially offset by a slower freight forwarding performance.
There has been little change in the markets in which we operate since we published our preliminary results statement on 19 May 2015 for the year ending 28 February 2015. The overall performance of the Group in the first quarter of the current financial year, to 31 May 2015, was in line with the Board’s expectations and the outlook for the year to 29 February 2016 remains unchanged.