London: V.Group, the sprawling ship services company, aims to increase revenues by at least 50% in the coming three years. Speaking exclusively to Maritime CEO in London the group’s president and ceo, Clive Richardson, said acquisitions could be on the cards to hit these ambitious growth targets.
The group’s largest subsidiary, V.Ships, is the world’s biggest shipmanager with around 800 ships in full technical and crew management.
“Our plans involve growth in our managed fleet in our Asian offices, spearheaded from Singapore and Shanghai, as well as penetration of the market for our marine service brands, particularly our technical and travel business divisions,” Richardson said.
The company is also moving into what Richardson described as “a position of influence” in the offshore sector with a “good position” in asset and manpower management.
V.Ships has been repeatedly linked to buying out an Asian shipmanager to give it bigger foothold in the world’s most vibrant shipping region, something Richardson does not rule out. “Our growth,” he said, “is planned to be primarily organic, but we will make acquisitions that are in synch with our core strategic objectives.”
In addition to shipmanagement services the group is strongly marketing its ship repair technical services, newbuild supervision and technical consulting services as well as its IATA-registered travel business.
On the markets Richardson, who has been in charge of the group since 2009, said he had some “cause for optimism”.
“I’m seeing signs of equity returning to the shipping market and freight rates have flattened out. Some of the capacity in the market is being taken out with life cycles being reappraised and ships being scrapped earlier,” he noted, before adding: “Operators are still struggling with the breakeven point on investments, however, and it is not a market for the faint hearted. 2013 will be another tough year, but I believe that the better operators will come through and start to return to profitability.” [31/01/13]
For more on V.Group's China plans, head over to our sister site, SinoShip News here.
For more on V.Ships in Singapore, now the largest office in the group, head to our Southeast Asia site, SeaShip News here.