Shipping giant Clarkson has announced lower profits and warned Brexit and trade wars are hitting global sentiment.
The FTSE 250 listed company said Britain’s impending exit from the EU will affect foreign exchange rates, and geo-political uncertainty from the US-China trade dispute.
Sanction are also having an impact globally, which is delaying the shipping giant’s ability to “execute on awarded mandates.”
Clarkson’s pre-tax profit dropped to £42.9m in 2018 compare to £45.4m the previous year, as the company booked higher costs due to investing in digital capabilities.
Revenue for Clarkson was up to £337.6m compared to £324m, led by its ship brokering division.
Shares fell in early morning trading, by 6.4% to 2,425p.
Chief executive Andi Case said, “Geo-political uncertainty and natural disasters are currently affecting global sentiment and exchange rates, which in part offsets the better visibility from an improved forward order book.
“These headwinds are having an impact, in particular within our financial segment, but, as the year progresses, we expect these to diminish and the impact from changes in regulation around sulphur emissions to begin.
“Consequently, we believe that the strength and breadth of Clarkson, enhanced by technology platforms which continue to be rolled out to our clients, positions the group well for the future. The board remains confident about the longer-term outlook for Clarkson.”
The company’s order book for 2019 stands at £82.4m which is 15% hike from 2018.
Case said, “despite a challenging start to 2018” the company delivered a “robust financial performance in line with expectations, strengthening our position at the forefront of the market and generating further returns for our shareholders.”