British shipping services provider Clarkson posted double digit growth in its earnings in the first half of the year as an increase in spot-broking revenues helped to offset ongoing low freight rate levels. The company, which was founded in 1852 and provides shipbroking, investment banking and research services, said that diluted earnings per share adjusted for acquisition-related costs rose to 50.7 pence ($0.66) from 41.3 pence in the six months that ended June 30, according to an earnings statement published on Monday. Revenue climbed to 156.8 million pounds compared with 147.2 million pounds, taking profit-after-tax to 16.3 million pounds from 13 million pounds a year earlier.
Spot-broking revenues rose during the period, buoyed by an uptick in transaction volumes and a rise in dry cargo rates, which helped to offset lower revenues from the company’s forward order book, the statement noted. Although ongoing low freight rates remained across Clarkson’s markets, the company said that indications of a recalibration in some areas had been appearing. It said that the Baltic Dry Index had averaged 979 across the first half of 2017, up 100% on the 2016 level, and the ClarkSea Index, which its research unit compiles, was up by 2% compared to the same period in 2016. Both indicators, however, remain significantly below even the average since the events of 2009.