New tugs and rising offshore demand bolster Wilson Sons’ earnings

  • 24/03/2023
  • 5 minutes

24 Mar 2023by Martyn Wingrove

New tugs in Brazil and higher operational activity at offshore support bases helped boost revenues and profits of Brazilian maritime and logistics group Wilson Sons

One of the leaders in port and maritime logistics in Brazil’s growing economy posted profit after tax of R$33M (US$6.2M), up 51% compared to 2021.

Its net revenues for 2022 totalled R$2.3Bn (US$434M), up more than 6% during 2021, while its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were up 9% to R$939M (US$177M).

Wilson Sons said the positive results for 2022 reflected “an improved revenue mix in the towage division”, favourable volume conditions for the international logistics business, Allink, and “higher operational activity in the offshore support base unit” with increased shipping agency revenues.

Net revenues from towage operations grew 5% in 2022, with an increase in average revenue per manoeuvre and special operations.

Part of the company’s financial improvement was an increase in the tugboat fleet. The company is building its own new escort and harbour tugs with air emissions abatement technology to meet IMO Tier III standards.

Wilson Sons took delivery of WS Centaurus and WS Orion, the first two of a six-tugboat newbuilding series in 2022, each with 90 tonnes of bollard pull. A third is close to completion and more are scheduled for delivery this year.

WS Centaurus and WS Orion are serving the largest bulk carriers currently calling at Brazilian ports, with capacities reaching 400,000 dwt.

In the offshore sector, Wilson Sons saw an improvement in demand for logistics. Vessel turnarounds at its offshore support bases increased 31% in 2022 versus 2021 and operating days for its offshore support vessel operating joint venture grew 20% year-over-year.

In Q4 2022, the company signed new support base contracts with Petronas and 3R Petroleum, and platform supply vessels Torda, Biguá and Fulmar began operating under new four-year contracts with Brazilian energy group Petrobras.

Regarding container terminals, Wilson Sons 2022 results were affected by the limited availability of empty containers and global logistical bottlenecks causing ship call cancellations.

While volume declined, revenue grew slightly year-over-year with an increase in warehousing.

Despite the challenges it faced in 2022, aggregated volumes are up 5% in the first two months of 2023.

Wilson Sons chief executive Fernando Salek reflected on the turmoil of the past two years and the turnaround in markets and demand in Brazil.

“Wilson Sons performed well, facing these challenges while managing to continue to grow, ensuring the safety of our employees and the continuity of the excellent service to our customers and trade flow partners,” he said.

“We continue to pursue a world-class performance of our infrastructure, maintain the safety of our operations, and consistently seek opportunities to leverage our market position, reflecting the resilience of our business model and the versatility of our services to challenge and transform maritime transport for the benefit of all our stakeholders,” he said.

In 2022, Wilson Sons recorded a lost-time injury frequency rate of 0.45 incidents per one million hours worked. It said this outperformed the world-class benchmark and was a reduction of 29% compared to 2021.