Braemar Shipping Services' underlying operating profits fell to £2.3m in the six months to the end of August - down from £2.8m last time. Revenues of £66.6m were down from £70.2m a year ago. On a reported basis, operating profits rose to £0.5m from £0.3m last time. The group said its shipbroking division achieved a resilient revenue performance and maintained a strong forward order book to support full year performance. It said the technical division recorded an improved performance, following the programme of business restructuring and significant new project work had commenced early in the second half of the year. Logistics, its smallest division, was slightly behind prior year performance, however new contracts had come on stream in the second half of the year. The group said the acquisition of NAVES Corporate Finance GmbH, a financial advisory business focussed on the maritime industry, completed on 26 Sep. It said this acquisition had established a new financial division for the group and marked a significant milestone in Braemar's business development. Chairman David Moorhouse said: 'We are well placed to deliver a stronger second half business performance compared with the first half of our financial year, as Braemar's improving momentum continues. 'The principal drivers of this are the continuing recovery in the technical division following the cost saving measures taken, new project work in our engineering business and a solid pipeline of marine and adjusting business. 'In addition, the second half will benefit from the initial 5 month contribution from Braemar NAVES. 'While our markets remain highly competitive and cyclical, the Group's portfolio of businesses is much better positioned with the addition of a marine financial advisory capability and we intend to develop this alongside our existing operations. 'We are in line to meet our objectives for the full year.'
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