According to Reuters, PCTC operator Wallenius Wilhelmsen, has cut its dividend to zero and will mothball up to 10 vessels as demand plunged amid the coronavirus outbreak, it said on Monday. The company also plans to scrap up to four older vessels.
Oslo-listed Wallenius Wilhelmsen, which operates around 125 vessels, had originally proposed to pay dividends of up to $60 million, divided into two tranches.
“The world has changed dramatically over the past weeks, and we are all feeling the effect,” Chief Executive Craig Jasienski said in a statement, adding that the impact could last for a long time. “Our strong focus on synergies and cost efficiency over the past years have put us in a solid liquidity position, but we are taking early precautionary steps now, to preserve cash,” Jasienski said.
A statement on the WW website suggests that the fleet of around 125 vessels is being underused. “The current situation indicates an overcapacity in the Wallenius Wilhelmsen fleet of 10-15 vessels. This will be solved through a combination of redelivery of chartered vessels to tonnage providers, early recycling and cold-lay-ups. We are making these decisions now, to ensure that we quickly can adjust service and costs as the supply chain and market impacts become clearer”.
As part of its cost saving exercise, WW has also said it will cancel the remaining four scrubber installations it had intended to carry out.