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CEO's Column - NORDEN News Magazine Winter 2013

NORDEN on the right course

One year ago and on this same page, I wrote that NORDEN in 2013 would take advantage of the opportunities which the hard times also offer after all. Now, the year has almost passed, and it is therefore possible to take stock of the year.

During the year, the Company has e.g. taken advantage of the attractive newbuilding prices to contract and long-term charter no less than 19 vessels. In the short term, we have also made sure to obtain more capacity as we have chartered extra tonnage so that we are ready to benefit from an expectedly improved market in 2014 and 2015. And together with a sharp focus on costs, this has ensured that NORDEN stands even stronger today than one year ago.

We are not through the global shipping crisis yet, but there are some small signs that we are slowly approaching a better balance between supply and demand.

And we can be pleased with that. At the same time, we can establish that we were not only right when we named our 2011-2013 strategy Long-term Growth in Challenging Times in the autumn of 2010 – we were also capable of reaching the strategy’s many ambitious targets, which you can read more about on pages 12 and 13.

We are now looking ahead and are applying the finishing touches to a new strategy which will ensure NORDEN’s growth also in the years to come. Continued investments will constitute a significant part of the strategy – you should buy the vessels when prices are low and let them generate profits when the markets are up. In that way, you make use of the fluctuations in a cyclical business. But no matter how attractive the newbuilding prices are, we will not overspend. We still live according to the principle that we can risk losing a deal but we can never risk losing the company. This is a sound principle which ensures that we never lose our touch on reality – not even if we are managing well at sea.

In this issue of NORDEN NEWS on page 4 and onwards, we put focus on our US business which has done us well throughout the years. Perhaps Southeast Asia makes more headlines and attracts more attention when talking about growth in these years, but a mature market like the US market still contains great opportunities, and we are taking advantage of these opportunities as best as we can.

On pages 10 and 11, we write about how a new type of engine will improve fuel economy on some of our new vessels and thus ensure that NORDEN’s vessels will also in the future be equal to the very best vessels in the business. This also goes for our seamen. On page 14, you can read about how NORD NIGHTINGALE’s crew was recently honoured by BP in connection with a helicopter crash in the North Sea.

To all of our readers – enjoy the magazine and have a merry Christmas.

CARSTEN MORTENSEN, President and CEO

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