In times of energy crisis, increasing inflation and fluctuating cargo volumes and freight rates, the sentiment at Blue Water reflects satisfaction with the core business's development and financial results. The Danish transport and logistics group delivered a profit of 12 million USD before tax in 2022. This is concluded in the annual accounts for Blue Water Holding, which cover the entire group’s activities.
“The profit is lower than we expected, and consequently we are not content with the total result of the group. That being said, we have seen a solid and strong performance in all business units during a year presenting many challenges to the industry and our customers. Our employees have succeeded in maintaining a high level of service and, with great dedication, continued to deliver efficient transport solutions to our customers”, says Søren Nørgaard Thomsen, CEO of Blue Water.
The Future Looks Positive
Each business unit continues to develop as planned, and throughout 2022 the group expanded with a handful of offices worldwide. Overall, the number of employees has grown to accommodate current and future demands. Generally, investments in the future setup have been increased - especially in the wind segment through a joint venture: Danwind Blue Water. Through the joint venture, Blue Water is now involved in installing wind turbines – not only the transport. However, the start-up has required more significant investments than expected.
“We have a strategic ambition to expand our services within the wind industry, where we hold a strong global position in transport and logistics. The pipeline of our joint venture looks promising; however, performance deviations will occur as it primarily concerns project assignments. At the same time, we must conclude that the cooperation has not lived up to our expectations. Consequently, our investment last year was heavier than we budgeted, reducing our total group profit by several million”, says Søren Nørgaard Thomsen.
A Good Start for 2023
During 2022, the turnover of Blue Water grew extensively by 37%, from 970 million to 1.3 billion USD. This significant increase is primarily driven by the high freight rates, especially sea freight. For this reason, the top-line growth has not filtered directly through to the bottom line of Blue Water, which is expecting a lower turnover this year while the profit will be more significant.
“The high freight rates do not give an actual reflection of our development. We focus more on volumes, level of activity and market shares. And here, we follow our strategy and focus on efficiency, consolidation and profitable growth. Last year was characterised by the steady development of new activities and offices, contributing to solving the customers’ needs. We forecast this to continue, as we started the year well and expect to deliver a better bottom line result this year compared to last”, says Søren Nørgaard Thomsen.
A Year to Remember for Blue Water
The chairman of the board and founder Kurt Skov looks back on 2022 with a positive mind:
“We should have lived up to the financial expectations last year. However, I expect we will reach the right side of the budget this year. It is also worth noting that last year we spent a large amount on the celebration of our 50-year jubilee. It was a memorable high point to meet 1,400 of our 2,000 colleagues in Esbjerg participating in the celebration. It was an amazing experience and has contributed to a strengthened team spirit, cooperation and understanding across the entire company. At the same time, the jubilee was also a marking of the last step of the generational handover, when Anne joined as chair of the Blue Water Foundation”, says Kurt Skov.