Shipping company CFL is the largest investor in the fleet; the interests of the co-investors are therefore synchronised with those of CFL.
Currently CFL has a broad investment profile, which is mainly focused on larger, financially strong investors. The total value of the fleet operated by CFL, or currently under construction, amounts to € 230 million, of which approximately € 75 million is capital injected by CFL and co-investors.
In the past, CFL used various models, the most unusual one being the so-called ‘discretionary depreciation’. The ‘discretionary depreciation’ scheme was set up as a financial incentive for investments in capital goods that can be subject to accelerated depreciation. We were the first shipping company in the Netherlands that signed a ruling agreement with the Tax Authority regarding the fiscal treatment of the discretionary depreciation scheme for some of our new-building projects. The scheme offered increasingly sophisticated customisation with even better returns for the various investors as well as securing hundreds of jobs in the shipbuilding and supplying industry in Holland.
CFL previously financed her vessels by making use of the tonnage-tax regime, which still offers a significant benefit for the investor in the form of extremely low taxation on the profit from the shipping activities. CFL has done this partly with De Vereenigde Company and partly with other more institutional investors.
Furthermore, during the start-up phase, CFL made a number of interesting investments in partnership with a major private equity fund from Pennsylvania, USA.
> Above-average return
Whichever investment construction is or will be chosen, the average return on investments in CFL has thus far been above the average for the maritime sector. This is largely explained by the anticipated higher residual value of our vessels in combination with a positive operating result.
The CFL fleet is the youngest fleet in the Netherlands and all our vessels are built in the Netherlands in accordance with the latest technological standards. They are extremely suitable for multipurpose transport (project cargo, steel, dry bulk and containers), they are ice-strengthened, energy efficient and they may be used in ecologically vulnerable regions. Add the fact that the world fleet of short-sea vessels is an average of 20 years or older, which means the bulk is ready for replacement, our Jumbos 6500 and Soles 10.000 should expect a considerably higher residual value than is included in the books at the moment. According to estimates from international ship brokers, this may be 20-30 percent above the market average.
As our vessel types are suitable for multipurpose use and as there is an upturn in demand for top-quality transport capacity, we can count on an acceptable day return for the coming years. The cost-efficient management of our vessels, the use of fuel-efficient engines (an average of 20-30 percent less fuel consumption than for comparable vessels) and minimum replacement and maintenance costs, the margin on this income flow is high compared to those of other shipping companies.