Copenhagen-based shipowder J. Lauritzen has added more tonnage to its dry bulk fleet after a strong first half of the year, which saw it record post-tax profits of $101m.
The results compared favourably to the first half of last year when the company posted a $4.2m profit and suffered a number of writedowns on its fleet.
"We think that the market is there to take some ships, to take a little risk," J. Lauritzen chief executive Torben Janholt said.
The improvement in the company's finance comes mainly from a rise in earnings from its bulker and offshore service divisions.
Mr Janholt said the sharp market increase in the dry bulk sector early in the year took everyone by surprise, but he doubted the second half of the year would be as strong. Although there was some volatility in the market, particularly in the early summer, the Lauritzen Bulker division saw the number days its ships were on the water rise to 15,148 compared with 14,255 in the first half of 2009.
Earnings before deductions within the dry bulk sector were $106.2m compared with $42.8m in 2009, primarily due to improved earnings from the company's handysize vessels and counter party settlements.
During the first half, the company took delivery of four handysize vessels and two medium range tankers. It has also taken another seven bulk carriers on long-term time charter and placed an order for two more handysizes with China's Jiangmen Nanyang shipyard.
"The second half of the year will be okay but not the same high levels," said Mr Janholt. "But we have sold some of our expensive newbuildings and are in pretty good shape to play the market."
Lauritzen's offshore services division saw increased activity as the accommodation and support vessel Dan Swift and the 44,700dwt shuttle tanker Dan Eagle became fully operational.
Earnings before deduction were %29.7m compared with a $500,000 loss in the first half of 2009.