Clarksons sees choppy waters for ship broking

Marion Dakers
SHIP broker Clarksons warned yesterday that the gloomy economic outlook and arid debt markets have dried up business, sending its shares down 8.7 per cent to £11.87.

The 150-year-old company said freight rates and sales volumes have continued to fall since July, prompting it to lower expectations for its full-year results.

“Clarksons has consistently highlighted the demand/supply imbalance and this remains a dominant feature, as does a lack of available debt amidst general weakness in capital markets,” it said in a statement.

While transaction volumes across most of the firm’s broking business have seen an uptick, this has been offset by the weakness of the dollar against sterling.

The firm’s boutique shipping investment bank, Clarkson Capital Markets, is also suffering “very low” levels of activity.

Analysts at Panmure have cut their operating profit for the year from £27.5m to £24m, but remain hopeful that Clarksons will be able to capitalise on the economic recovery as it picks up pace.