Russian shipping giant Sovcomflot maps out its course into 2025



Sovcomflot (SCF Group) provided some key figures in a short presentation to TradeWinds — but there was only time for a fleeting glimpse of the final page detailing the company’s 2019-2025 strategy before it was whisked away.

“It contains some of our secrets,” non-executive chairman Sergey Frank teased. “What we are promising to deliver to our shareholders.”

Giving a snapshot of what is in the company’s third strategy period, Frank said it is “a growth strategy”.

He added that it is about further industrialisation in that two-thirds of the company’s exposure will be to industrial projects, with the remaining one-third to conventional shipping.

“It is definitely a strategy where we see more gas than anything else because we are deep believers that the future is gas,” he said.

The aim is also to move the company to have nearer a 50:50 balance between international and Russian projects.

The new chairman said Sovcomflot would also like to increase productivity to between 30% and 40%, while making the company 30% more efficient on greenhouse gas emissions. Frank said Sovcomflot aims to be very focused on making the same job safer and cleaner.

“One of the very serious roles of the board is to control the sustainability aspects of our operations,” he said.

A stock listing is not on the agenda for Sovcomflot at present and a buy-in from any strategic investors is a non-starter, despite all the press speculation around both.

But, while acknowledging that competition is increasing, Frank remains ambitious on growth.

“I always dreamt about $1.5 to $2bn [in annual] net revenues. With the market of strong headwinds in 2018, I did not reach it but I hope Igor and his team will do it soon,” he said, looking sideways, with a wry smile, at Igor Tonkovidov, his successor as company president and chief executive.