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Varun Shipping net rises 128 pc; to pay 20 pc final

Our Bureau


Mr Arun Mehta (right), Vice-Chairman & MD, Varun Shipping Company Ltd, with Mr Yudisihthir Khatau, MD, at a press conference in Mumbai on Thursday. — Paul Noronha

Mumbai April 28

, VARUN Shipping has reported a 128 per cent jump in net profit for the fiscal 2004-05 to touch Rs 81.6 crore against Rs 35.80 crore in the previous fiscal, sailing on the back of a buoyant freight market.

The company has recommended a final dividend of 20 per cent for the year, in addition to the interim dividend of 10 per cent paid earlier. In the previous fiscal, the company had paid a dividend 16 per cent.

The turnover during the year increased to Rs 388.23 crore from Rs 294.36 crore in the previous fiscal, representing a jump of 32 per cent, while its consolidated EPS rose to Rs 9.01 from Rs 4.24, an increase of 112 per cent.

Talking to newspersons, Mr Yudhishthir Khatau, Managing Director, said the company had acquired three ships at a cost of $ 100 million in the last fiscal. "This fiscal, we have just bought a $ 40-million LPG carrier and we plan to invest another $ 60-70 million for fleet expansion during the next six months," he said.

In addition to this, Varun's Singapore subsidiary, VSC International Pvt Ltd, will be investing $ 40 million for fleet expansion. "The type of vessel we buy will depend on market opportunities, but our focus will continue to be on energy transportation," he said.

The company at present has a fleet of 15 vessels, including eight LPG carriers, one crude tanker and one dry bulk vessel. The company had four single-hull tankers, out of which two were sold last fiscal.

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