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FTSE 250 movers: Full steam ahead at Clarksons; Hipgnosis out of tune again

By Frank Prenesti

Date: Monday 04 Mar 2024

(Sharecast News) - FTSE 250 (MCX) 19,205.84 -0.77%
Shipping broker Clarksons posted record full-year profits on Monday.

In the year to the end of December 2023, underlying pre-tax profit rose 8.2% to £109.2m, with reported pre-tax profit coming in at £108.8m, up from £100.1m.

Clarksons said revenue jumped 5.9% to £639.4m, driven by strong growth in its broking, support and research divisions, as well as "responsible treasury management".

The company also hailed a record forward order book of $217m, up from $216m a year earlier.

The board recommended a final dividend of 72p per share, bringing the total dividend for the year to 102p, up 10% on 2022.

Clarksons said market conditions improved notably in the final quarter of the year, as a surge in Capesize cargoes from the Atlantic and a rise in congestion at Chinese discharge ports created an upturn in Capesize earnings, peaking at around $50,000 per day. This was the highest level since October 2021.

At the same time, a firm grain export programme from Brazil and sustained strength in Asian coal markets boosted demand for mid-size tonnage against a backdrop of growing restrictions around Panama Canal transits.

"Further trade flow disruption emerged at the end of the year with many owners choosing to avoid the Suez Canal due to attacks on ships in the Red Sea," it said. "This has led to increasingly significant re-routing of ships, longer voyages, vessel positioning disruption and some upside pressure on freight rates."

Chief executive Andi Case said: "2023 was a year of disruption in the maritime markets and I am enormously proud we have achieved another record year.

"The business today is a reflection of two decades' investment in our strategy, and we are confident in our outstanding team, our breadth of market-leading services, our technologies and our geographic reach to meet the growing needs of our clients in a world which is ever more complex.

"We are optimistic for Clarksons in the near, medium and long-term future."

Music rights investment fund Hipgnosis tanked after cutting the value of its songs portfolio by more than a quarter.

The also said it would suspend dividends for the foreseeable future and use free cash to pay down debt.

FTSE 250 - Risers

Clarkson (CKN) 3,815.00p 3.81%
ICG Enterprise Trust (ICGT) 1,268.00p 3.09%
Direct Line Insurance Group (DLG) 212.80p 2.46%
Carnival (CCL) 1,146.00p 1.99%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 96.65p 1.89%
Senior (SNR) 162.40p 1.75%
TBC Bank Group (TBCG) 3,220.00p 1.74%
OSB Group (OSB) 440.00p 1.43%
Drax Group (DRX) 475.70p 1.40%
Breedon Group (BREE) 379.00p 1.34%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited NPV (SONG) 57.00p -10.14%
Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (AML) 161.50p -8.72%
Darktrace (DARK) 339.10p -6.01%
ITV (ITV) 60.14p -6.00%
PZ Cussons (PZC) 96.60p -5.11%
Diversified Energy Company (DEC) 911.50p -4.91%
Quilter (QLT) 101.40p -4.78%
Future (FUTR) 609.00p -3.94%
Genus (GNS) 1,661.00p -3.91%
Moonpig Group (MOON) 160.30p -3.84%

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