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Western Bulk suffers $10m Chilean hit

Oslo-based Western Bulk Chartering saw its full-year profits take a sizeable hit from some poor decisions taken by an employee in South America.

Western Bulk said that its Chile business unit experienced a net time charter loss of $10m in the last six months of the year, thanks in large part to contracts that were approved based on what the company said in a release were “unrealistic assumptions” presented by a trusted employee. The Chile business unit has been restructured and the employee removed from his position, and internal control routines have been reviewed and enhanced. A zero net time charter result is expected from Chile this year.

The company still managed to record a full-year profit after tax of $4.2m.

“After ending both 2017 and the first half of 2018 with increase in profitability, the last six months of 2018 was disappointing due to losses in Chile. At the same time, with the Chile business unit restructured and a good fourth quarter I am convinced that we will be able to better reflect the strong performance in the remaining business units on group level in 2019,” said Jens Ismar, the CEO of Western Bulk.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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