LONDON - Shipping company Wallenius Lines has acquired two car transportation companies in Germany and Poland.
Walon ATB in Germany and Walon Poland were purchased from Chargeurs Group.
Wallenius, the world's third-largest car shipping line, also announced a 79 percent increase in 1996 pretax profits, to Skr334 million ($44 million). Sales fell 3 percent to Skr3.3 billion. Wallenius President Christer Olsson predicted 1997 profits would be higher.
The company has a fleet of 30 specialized car carriers. Wallenius carried 970,000 vehicles by sea in 1996, 15 percent of the world total.
The new German transportation subsidiary is based in Hanover and has five terminals, 110 transporters and a staff of 450. It also refurbishes 100,000 vehicles a year.
The Polish operation is much smaller, with fewer than 10 vehicles. Olsson hopes to win car transportation business from Daewoo in Poland. 'We have a very good relationship: we buy their ships,' he said.
The two new subsidiaries will change their names to Richard Lawson Germany and Richard Lawson Poland.
Wallenius owns 80 percent of Richard Lawson Motor Co., the third-largest car transportation and logistics company in the UK. Richard Lawson has 350 transporters and 20 terminals. Lawson carried 900,000 vehicles in 1996. Sales were £45 million ($73 million).