zoom A seasonal increase in volumes for both shipping and logistics positively affected revenue for Wilh. Wilhelmsen ASA (WWASA) in the second quarter 2014. Adjusted for non-recurring items, operating profit amounted to USD 79m – a 46% increase quarter on quarter.For the second quarter, WWASA posted an operating profit of USD 57m, down 30% from the same quarter in 2013 (USD 82m), but up 6% compared with the first quarter.The second quarter was negatively affected by non-recurring items totalling USD 22m, of which USD 14m was related to restructuring costs in Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL) and USD 8m to reduction of Scandinavian seafarers.Adjusted for these costs, WWASA delivered an operating profit of USD 79m, on par with the same quarter last year or up 46% compared with the first quarter.46% operating profit increase compared to 1Q 2014 Despite a slight decline year over year, a total income of USD 682m (USD 689m) represents a 7% increase in topline compared with the first quarter of 2014.“A seasonal growth in demand for seaborne transportation lifted total volumes 11% from the first quarter,” said Jan Eyvin Wang, president and CEO of WWASA. “We saw positive development in all main trades.Like previous quarters, the cargo and trade mix has been unfavourable for our fleet and voyages costs are increasing to cater for customer needs, limiting the improvement in our profitability.”The contribution from WWASA’s logistics segment improved. “Increased earnings in WWL and Hyundai Glovis offset substantially reduced activity in some of the group’s US based logistics activities.” The board expects the slow volume growth trend to continue into the third quarter, however with normal seasonal variations and continued pressure on margins.Wang said: “The slow, but improved growth in demand for seaborne transportation for auto and high and heavy equipment the last quarters is expected to continue.However, this need is normally somewhat weaker in the third quarter, often characterised by labour strikes at the car factories in Korea.Reduced activity level in some of our logistics entities in the US will also have a negative impact on earnings the next few months.With volatility in demand for transportation, improvement initiatives and efficiency programmes are continuously implemented to improve the group’s profitability, including cost- and fleet optimisation initiatives.” Press Release, August 8, 2014
(Update)Police have now released the names of the nine people charged in a sophisticated car theft ring that was broken up in early morning raids Thursday. The six month investigation spanned Toronto, Oakville and Niagara, and led police to recover over five million dollars in stolen goods.What’s striking about this investigation is just how many vehicles and other valuables were stolen. Police revealed some of the items at a news conference this morning. Everything ranging from purses to jewellery to electronics — along with 23 high end cars.And it’s the cars these thieves were really after. Police allege a criminal ring broke into homes in wealthy Toronto neighbourhoods and stole the keys to luxury vehicles. They’d also pocket other valuable items like designer bags. The investigation is called “Project Yellowbird” after a yellow Porsche Carrera that was stolen during the December ice storm. That theft led police on a hunt that ended yesterday with raids on a number of residences and storage lockers where more cars were recovered. Some of the cars had been shipped overseas. Yellowbird was found in Lithuania. Police allege some of the people charged have been involved in this type of crime for a decade. Because the operation was so sophisticated, organized crime charges have been laid.Detective Dave Zajac, Toronto Police: “We knew we had a very sophisticated criminal organization. And at that point, with our leaders, we went ahead with the criminal organization charge.”44-year old Krzysztof Harasiuk is facing the longest list of charges including being part of a criminal organization, fraud, weapons offences, and theft. 8 others are charged along with him, five of them facing criminal organization charges. they are:28-year old Mykhaylo Antonov38-year old Piotr Buczel38-year old Arkadiuz Czeranowski46-year old Maciej Niezurawskand 35-year old Oskar BoczkowskiThree women are also charged:29-year old Tania Hernandez-Lopez with possession of property obtained by crime36-year old Milena Zelenovich is facing the same charge and 42-year old Magelena Lejawa is charged with conspiracy to break and enter.In total, the group is facing roughly 150 charges. Police say these arrests will put a major damper on Toronto car thefts.