OCN reported strong operating cash flow for H1 2018 ($55.6m vs. $33.1m in H1 2017) despite a difficult operating environment (weaker volumes and FX impact). Revenue was 3% higher in BRL, but in USD it was 4% lower at $235.0m. Operating margins remained stable at 20% (vs. H1 2017).
BRL was 17% lower against USD at end-H1 2018 (vs. end-FY 2017), impacting the company’s financial performance. Towage revenue declined to $86.5m (H1 2017: $102.9m) due to stronger competition (both pricing and volumes declined). Port terminals and logistics revenue grew 3% to $128.9m. Operating profit declined to $46.8m (H1 2017: $48.9m), following a fall in revenue as margins remained flat. Operating cash flow was strong at $55.6m (H1 2017: $33.1m), primarily due to a positive working capital movement. Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the period were $60.1m (FY 2017: $83.8m).
In its outlook, the company noted: “The uncertainty in the domestic scenario is further clouded by the upcoming Brazilian presidential elections in October. In the face of intensifying market competition our towage business continues to face both volume and pricing pressure although we remain confident in the underlying strength of our business to meet these challenges.”