CEO's Column - NORDEN News Magazine Winter 2008

Happy - though challenging - New Year

2008 became a lot more exciting than any of us would have imagined – let alone wished for.

It probably will not take long before it becomes part of the curriculum for students all over the world to explain how and why an, on the paper, isolated American subprime crisis suddenly turned into a global financial crisis, which, with lightning speed, spread into many other industries – especially shipping – and then caused global economic recession.

During the last few years of booming dry cargo markets, we at NORDEN have often reminded each other that shipping is a cyclical business. The markets will change one day, we said to each other. But the power and speed of the setback that we have experienced took us – and everybody else – completely by surprise.

Business models and financial readiness have been stress tested to the extreme everywhere, also at NORDEN. We have passed the test, and I am pleased that our employees have promptly adjusted to significantly changed conditions. This willingness to adjust and the Company’s long-term coverage deserve the credit for the fact that we still expect 2008 to become a very good year profit wise, though not quite in the same level as we expected a few months ago.

2009 can easily become even more challenging for all of us in line with the global economies entering an actual recession. I have absolutely no doubts that NORDEN will get through the troubles as a stronger company. Our name and solid track record, our standards and extensive flexibility as well as our very healthy balance give NORDEN a very strong starting point. But it will be challenging. We have to be ready to adjust even further, and this will take great efforts from all of us.

I wish a merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year to customers, business partners, employees, shareholders and everyone else who has an interest in NORDEN.


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