The recently enacted "American Jobs Creation Act" gives significant tax breaks to a number of U.S. industries--including shipping.
MARINE LOG and BLANK ROME will present a senior level seminar CHANGES IN U.S. TAXATION OF SHIPPING INCOME in Stamford, Conn. on April 5 & 6, 2004
Make sure you know how the new tax rules work!
March 10, 2005
Hoegh completes restructuring
After posting strong results for 2004, Norway's Leif Hoegh & Co. Limited announced today that the company has completed the final phase of its corporate realignment by merging all aspects of its RO/RO operations into Hoegh Autoliners. Supported by significant investment capital Hoegh Autoliners will be focused on growth. Further newbuilding opportunities will be pursued and the last non-core vessels have been sold.
Leif Hoegh's operating activities are now integrated in two separate entities: Hoegh Autoliners and Hoegh LNG.
Hoegh LNG is expanding its business model to encompass large and complex mid-stream projects.
Hoegh Fleet Services will continue to provide ship management for both RO/RO and LNG vessels, as before.
Leif Hoegh & Co will be a holding company "without commercial operation or external visibility." The Hoegh name and the H-flag logo will be shared.
Leif Hoegh & Co has been transformed from being a broadly diversified company to one focusing on RO/RO and LNG.
Hoegh sold its last seven open hatch vessels at the end of 2004 and its last two large bulk carriers this month. Meantime, it has contracted for 20 car carriers and two LNG carriers scheduled for delivery between 2004 to 2008. These investments represent vessel values of about $1.5 billion.
"The new management structure is a logical consequence of the implementation of the strategy to focus on Ro/Ro and LNG," says Thor Jorgen Guttormsen, President of Leif Hoegh & Co and new CEO of Hoegh Autoliners. "Our order-book confirms the growth ambitions and the objective is to provide customers with an even better service."
Hoegh Autoliners has developed from being a niche operator into a global RO/RO service provider with 50 vessels in world wide trade systems.
As CEO, Guttormsen will be supported by a management team consisting of: Karl Terjesen, executive vice president (EVP) commercial, Niels Ronald Bugge, EVP ship owning and fleet capacity, Yngvil Asheim, EVP ship management and Roar Flom, EVP and CFO.
Hoegh LNG has committed itself to growing its LNG fleet and related services. The company will be managed as a separate entity although ship management will be supplied by Hoegh Fleet Services.
With more than 30 years experience in the transportation of LNG, Hoegh LNG operates a fleet of four LNG carriers, of which three are wholly or partly owned. Two newbuildings are on order with partners for delivery in January 2006 and will be employed on long-term contracts.
Hoegh LNG has introduced the Floating Midstream Solutions comprising innovative solutions and partnerships with industry leaders aiming at expansion in the LNG supply chain.
Hoegh LNG's "Shuttle and Regasification Vessel" ("SRV") concept for offshore ports, floating LNG terminals and technology for marine transportation of compressed natural gas (CNG) are examples of current activities.
"2004 was a good year and the company anticipate continued growth in 2005," Guttormsen says. "We view the changes we are making to be in the best, long-term interests of our customers, the company and our employees.
Results 2004: Operating profit before sales gain and depreciation increased to $147 million ($141 million in 2003).Operating profit more than doubled to $106 million ($46 million in 2003). This was, however, partly due to a 2003 loss from sale of vessels being replaced by a profit in 2004.Strong cash-flow contributed to net debt being reduced to $505 million ($557 million in 2003), in spite of substantial investments in new vessels