According to MANA,The group attributed the gains to higher operating revenues as it purchased and took delivery of a number of very large crude carriers. The number of VLCCs in its fleet for the first quarter increased to 36 vessels from 31 ships.
An increase in average time charter equivalent rates for the crude oil shipping market versus the year ago quarter, higher operating revenues and net income from the general cargo transportation sector due to better operating and commercial business performance as well as a fall in average ship operating expenses and lower bunker fuel prices also helped lift net profit.
Operating profit also rose to SR709.7m for the first quarter from SR427.9m in the year ago period.
The group in February signed a memorandum of agreement to buy a VLCC from Hanjin Shipping which was subsequently delivered in March.
Hanjin Ras Tanura was sold to Bahri for $75m.
Separately the group in April secured about SR1.4bn of Islamic financing from Riyad Bank to fund an order for five very large crude carriers it made with Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries.