Deutsche Bank Shipfinancing (DB Shipfinancing) looks back on a successful financial year 2005. Annemarie Ehrhardt, Torsten Wagner and Tjark H. Woydt, Managing Directors of Schiffshypothekenbank zu Lübeck AG (SHL), presented the annual financial statements of DB Shipfinancing in Hamburg today. DB Shipfinancing is made up of Schiffshypothekenbank zu Lübeck AG (SHL) and the ship financing department of Deutsche Bank AG.
"For the tenth consecutive year, DB Shipfinancing has improved its operating profit (prior to provision for loan losses) over the preceding year, this time raising the figure by 4.8 per cent to EUR 45.5 million. Regular income grew by 5.7 per cent over 2004, reaching EUR 53.7 million. New lending business at DB Shipfinancing also turned in a very strong performance. Loans and drawings totalled some EUR 1.5 billion in 2005, as compared with EUR 1.4 billion a year earlier," reported Tjark H. Woydt. In 2005, a growing proportion of the revenues contributing to the positive overall development of DB Shipfinancing were generated by Deutsche Bank's ship financing department.
Underscoring the quality of the lending portfolio, Annemarie Ehrhardt said: "Our active risk management approach, based on diversification by ship size and type, as well as age and country structure, prevents concentration risks from arising. Once again, there were no interest or principal deferrals in 2005, and no specific provisions were formed. Over 70 per cent of the loan portfolio is of investment grade quality."
"2005 was another excellent year for most shipping companies," said Torsten Wagner. Though the market had reached its zenith in 2004, demand for tonnage in the world trading fleet grew again by 6 per cent in 2005. Wagner continued: "Fleet growth reached a peak, leading to a slight reduction in the vessel utilization rate, but it was still at its second highest level in over 20 years (preceded only by 2004)."
Overall, shipping markets were still expected to see positive developments in 2006. The combination of stronger world economic growth and closer links between economic growth and maritime trade is likely to continue over the next few years.
DB Shipfinancing is optimistic in its outlook for the new financial year. Despite growing competition and increasing pressure on margins, it anticipates stable revenues and intends to continue pursuing its forward-looking business and lending policies. Its focus will be on traditional markets in Germany, Cyprus, the Nordic countries and the rest of Europe, with a selective interest in the United States, Canada and Asia. Marketing activities in Turkey and Greece are to be expanded. In line with this, an agency was opened in Piraeus in early 2006, enabling DB Shipfinancing to respond more fully to the special significance of Greece as a leading shipping nation. Lending business remains the key to current customer relationships and targeted new business acquisition, but other banking products are also gaining in importance.
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DB Shipfinancing comprises all business operations of Schiffshypothekenbank zu Lübeck AG (SHL) and of the ship financing department of Deutsche Bank AG in Hamburg. SHL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Deutsche Bank AG and is operated under the same management as the ship financing department of the bank's Hamburg Branch.
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