OFFSHORE marine company Otto Marine has secured orders worth US$131 million, mainly contributed by the group's chartering business, in the second quarter of its financial year 2015 till date.
The substantial increase in new chartering contracts was attributable to the group's strategy to improve the utilisation rate of the fleet, in view of the potential cost that idle vessels will incur, the group said in a statement on Monday morning.
Utilisation rate for the group's chartering business has also improved for Q2FY15 against the last few quarters, it added.
Otto Marine chief executive officer Michael See said: "While some of the chartering rate is under pressure, it is still in the best interest of our group to secure better utilisation of our vessels than leaving them idle."
According to Mr See, Australia has been a much more stable market for chartering as supported by liquefied natural gas projects.
He added that Otto Marine is one of the very few Asian operators working for the North Sea market, where it still maintains a reasonably healthy utilisation rate, as it has large-sized, DNV-class vessels capable to operate in deep water.
Meanwhile, Latin America and African markets are performing much more steadily than Asia, said Mr See. "We retain good flexibility in managing our fleet size. While we enjoy better profit from our own vessels, we can return chartered-in vessels at expiration, and charter in additional, more technologically advanced vessels that bring in immediate contracts."
The counter last closed trading down 3.125 per cent at 31 Singapore cents last Friday.