Higher vessel deliveries and charters lift Nam Cheong's Q4 profit by 43%

Offshore vessel builder Nam Cheong said its fourth-quarter net profit rose 43 per cent to 70.5 million ringgit (S$27.2 million) as it delivered more vessels and expanded its fleet of vessels for charter.

Revenue for the three months to Dec 31 rose 7 per cent to 406.1 million ringgit.

Nam Cheong is Malaysia's largest maker of offshore support vessels - used in the lucrative oil and gas business - and the company is listed in Singapore.

The company's full-year net profit rose 51 per cent to 205.6 million ringgit as turnover climbed 43 per cent to 1.3 billion ringgit, also on the back of higher vessel deliveries and a larger chartering fleet.

Nam Cheong said it delivered 20 vessels to customers in 2013, up from 13 vessels in 2012.

"Our order book today remains very healthy at 1.5 billion ringgit and this bears further testament to the strength of our business model which continues to yield results for us," said chief executive Leong Seng Keat.

"Having achieved record order wins in 2013, we expect the sales momentum to continue this year as we tap into a resurgent market," he added in a company statement.

Nam Cheong also noted that Malaysian state oil firm Petronas has pledged US$14 billion (S$17.7 billion) for oil recovery projects.

"With the expected upswing in exploration and production activities in Malaysia, offshore support vessel owners are looking to expand their fleet on the back of higher rates and improved utilisation," Nam Cheong said.

The group's full-year earnings per share was 9.83 sen, from 7.14 sen previously. Net asset value per share was 44.6 sen at Dec 31, from 31 sen a year ago.

Nam Cheong declared a first and final dividend of half a Singapore cent plus a special dividend of half a cent. The company had paid out a final dividend of half a cent for the 2012 financial year.

The results were announced before markets opened on Wednesday. Nam Cheong's shares were flat at 34.5 cents at slightly before 1.30pm.

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