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Clarkson sees calmer seas in the second quarter

April's profit warning was not followed by another one; in fact, the group said trading conditions improved in some markets in the second quarter
The company followed up news of a cyber-attack in November with a profit warning in April

Four months after it issued a profit warning, shipbroker Clarkson PLC (LON:CKN) settled a few nerves by saying trading conditions improved in the second quarter.

The company said its outlook for the full year remains unchanged since its April 2018 trading update, in which it warned profits would be materially below those seen in 2017.

READ: Clarkson warns both first half and full-year profits to be materially below those of last year​

Underlying profit before tax, which excludes one-off items, declined to £19.2mln in the first half of 2018, from £24.5mln the year before, while reported profit before tax dipped to £18mln from £21.9mln.

Revenue fell to £152.6mln from £156.8mln, with the group experiencing depressed levels of sale and purchase activity, reduced rates within the tanker market and delays to financial transactions, which were compounded by the fall in the value of the US dollar.

Things improved in the second quarter, with the group seeing improved levels of trading in both sale and purchase and financial, with chartering markets continuing apace.

The group ended June with £44.1mln of free cash resources, down from £45.0mln a year earlier.

The interim dividend was upped to 24p from 23p.

Chief executive officer, Andi Case, noted that conditions in some markets had improved in the second quarter “when the breadth and diversity of our business again provided opportunity irrespective of volatility in the market”.

"We should benefit in the second half of the year from these recent improvements and remain confident in the mid to long-term potential for the group. Our investment across the business continues apace, as we drive innovation and remain focused on furthering Clarkson’s position at the forefront of the sector," he added.

Shares in Clarkson were up 3.7% at 2,680p in early trades.

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