Malaysian shipping, marine and offshore giant MISC made an after-tax profit of US$97.3 million in the quarter ending 30 June 2021, and said its top priority at present is the health and safety of its global workforce at sea and shore due to Covid-19.

The after-tax profit in the previous quarter ending 31 March 2021 was higher at $134.8 million, while in the corresponding quarter in 2020 there was a significant loss of $275.2 million due to a provision from the Gumusut-Kakap floating production system litigation case.

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Of the company's four main business segments - LNG shipping, petroleum & product shipping, offshore, and heavy engineering - offshore was the most profitable in the just-ended quarter at $63.8 million on a before-tax basis thanks to recognition of construction profit from an FPSO project in Brazil.

As vaccination rates rise and mobility restrictions ease in certain parts of the world, we are cautiously optimistic that the global oil demand will continue to rebound in tandem with the economy

MISC CEO Yee Yang Chien

LNG shipping generated a before-tax profit of $60 million and petroleum & product shipping $0.8 million. Heavy engineering - which comprises its subsidiary Malaysia Marine and Heavy Engineering - returned a $25.7 million loss on a before-tax basis.

Yee Yang Chien, MISC's chief executive, said: “As vaccination rates rise and mobility restrictions ease in certain parts of the world, we are cautiously optimistic that the global oil demand will continue to rebound in tandem with the economy, but with differing recoveries amidst high uncertainty due to the ongoing global health crisis and other geopolitical factors."

"We will remain focused on maintaining our growth momentum across our businesses. With the emergence of new variants rapidly increasing Covid-19 cases across the globe, we will not budge from our continued commitment to keep health and safety as our top priority for our global workforce at sea and shore,” he added.

Looking ahead, for the time being, the offshore business aims to focus on the execution of the new FPSO project in hand, said the company. Nevertheless, the segment will continue to monitor the market for the next major project as and when the right opportunity arises.

The marine and heavy engineering segment continues to be cautiously optimistic on future business prospects despite the oil and gas industry showing signs of recovery.

The marine business prospects are expected to continue to be impacted by Malaysia's prevailing stringent border restrictions as foreign clients continue to opt for shipyards in countries with lower Covid-19 cases and more relaxed border restrictions, said MISC.