4th quarter 2007 report

Bergen, NORWAY

Summary 4th quarter 2007

Historically high quarterly EBITDA
Historically high quarterly EBITDA
- EBITDA is MNOK 115 in the quarter (MNOK 77 in the 4th quarter 2006)
- Net TC rate per day was NOK 34,638 in the 4th quarter compared to NOK 34,398 in the 3rd quarter and NOK 30,446 in the 4th quarter 2006
- Net finance cost in the quarter is MNOK 14 compared to MNOK 3 for the same period last year.
- The result before tax and minority interest is MNOK 48 in the 4th quarter corresponding to NOK 1.14 per share compared to MNOK 37 corresponding to NOK 0.86 per share in the 4th quarter 2006.
- Entered into a new-building contract for 8 ships à 4,500 dwt.
- The company`s after tax result for 2007 is MNOK 111 (MNOK 120 in 2006)
- The Board of Directors proposal for dividend 2007: NOK 1 per share

Wilson ASA - Business idea

Wilson`s main activity is the chartering and operation of small dry bulk vessels between 1,500 and 10,000 dwt in the European short sea trade. Wilson is a premier player in this market. Per 20.02.2008 the Wilson system is operating 107 skip, whereof 77 are owned.
Wilson`s business concept is to offer Norwegian and European industry competitive, reliable, flexible
and long-term contract sea borne transportation services. By controlling large contract volumes and long-term contract portfolios Wilson may optimize vessel operations and secure stable and long term income levels.

Result 4th quarter 2007

In the 4th quarter the company achieved freight income on TC basis of MNOK 280 compared to MNOK 230
in the 4th quarter 2006. The increase is connected to a high and stable activity level and good earnings from the contracts. The company has also been operating more ships than in the corresponding period in 2006.

In spite of a high activity level in the quarter the company`s running cost (excl. depreciations) is on a corresponding level to that of the 4th quarter 2006, and is MNOK 175. An increase in other running cost ships and in administration cost is balanced by a corresponding decrease in TC and BB cost on chartered tonnage, and a decrease in crew cost. The latter is connected to a lower USD rate of exchange in the 4th quarter 2007 compared to the 4th quarter
2006. The NOx-tax is included in the 4th quarter 2007 with gross MNOK 4.

The operating result before depreciations (EBITDA) is MNOK 115 in the quarter compared to MNOK 77 in the 4th quarter 2006. This quarter`s EBITDA is historically high.

Net finance cost is totalling MNOK 14 in the 4th quarter 2007 compared to MNOK 3 for the 4th quarter
2006. Value changes in financial instruments in the quarter yields a positive contribution of MNOK 10, whereas MNOK 13 is charged as currency translation loss in the quarter. Interest cost in the quarter is MNOK 15.

The company`s result before minority interest and calculated tax is MNOK 64 in the 4th quarter 2007 compared to MNOK 47 for the 4th quarter 2006.

The market

The company has had good earnings from the contracts in the quarter and the COA ratio is 69 % in the 4th quarter compared to 65 % in the 3rd quarter and 66 % in the 4th quarter 2006. Contract earnings combined with a good spot market, in particular for the largest vessels, contributes to the good earnings.

The activity level measured as the number of sailing days has increased in the 4th quarter with 2 % compared to the 3rd quarter, which is primarily due to an increase in fleet capacity in the period.

Financing and capital structure

In the balance per 31.12.2007 interest bearing mortgage- and leasing obligations are totalling MNOK 1,009 (MNOK 988 per 30.09.2007 and MNOK 838 per 31.12.2006). The increase is due to drawdown on loan facility due to new tonnage purchased in the period.

The company`s booked equity per 31.12.2007 is MNOK 626 (MNOK 582 per 30.09.2007 and MNOK 549 per
31.12.2006). Booked equity is thereby 29.5 % (28.5 % per 30.09.2007 and 31.2 % per 31.12.2006).
Wilson`s stated objective of a minimum of 30 % booked equity is therefore not achieved per 31.12.2007. Two vessel purchases (MV Wilson Lahn - not yet delivered and MV Wilson Calais - bareboat) have been capitalized and having thereby increased the total balance values, as well as the unrealised negative value changes in the financial instruments having been charged to the profit and loss, have reduced the equity.

The company`s liquidity situation is good with bank deposits per 31.12.2007 corresponding to MNOK 112 as well as an unused credit facility of MNOK 50.


In the 4th quarter the company has entered into a new building contract with a Chinese building yard for the construction of 8 ships á 4,500 dwt. The ships will be delivered in 2010-2012 and have a total cost price to the yard of around MUSD 83. The contract has been entered into with various conditions, hereunder reciprocal guarantee
arrangements. The conditions are expected to be cleared during the 1st quarter 2008.

During the quarter Wilson has also entered into purchase agreements for 4 ships totalling MEUR 17. Two of the ships were delivered in January and two of the ships in February 2008.

During 2007 the company has purchased 16 ships totalling MNOK 400, excl. the new building contracts.

Order reserves

Wilson` s contracts coverage is satisfactory and the order reserve per 31.12.2007 is ca NOK 1.9 billions. The order reserve is defined as the expected future shipment commitments under the current Contracts of Affreightment (COA) during the agreed contract period. The total contract tonnage commitment in 2008 for existing contracts is ca 11.5 million tons, which is 1 million ton higher than the total cargoes shipped under contracts in 2007.

The company has long lasting and good relations to the customers with close to 100 % success rate in contract renewals. A major share of the contracts to be renegotiated, were renewed during the 4th quarter 2007. The result of the renewals was positive with an average freight increase of 5 % on a yearly basis.


The Board of Directors expects that the company`s established contracts basis will contribute to stable earnings for 2008. If the tonnage capacity is maintained the Board of Directors expects an income level in line with 2007. Although the development for the various cost elements, are more uncertain than it has been for a long time which
creates some uncertainty for the operating result, the company still expects a stable development in the operating results.

A further gradual increase in the fleet is planned during 2008 in line with the company`s stated growth strategy.
The Board of Directors has a positive attitude to the proposed new tonnage tax regime for shipping companies in Norway and will consider actively entering into this tax regime.

Financial principles for the quarterly report

The quarterly report has been established on the basis of international accounting standards (IAS 34).

The Board of Directors of Wilson ASA

Bergen, 20th February 2008


4th quarter 2007 report