Cyprus is one of the world's most important locations for ship management, with around 60 ship management companies operating in its territory, several of which rank among the largest of their kind in the world. Cyprus-based ship management companies employ almost 40,000 seafarers (including 5,000 EU nationals), and the total fleet managed from Cyprus is estimated to account for 20% of the world's third-party ship management market.
Since 2009 the Central Bank of Cyprus's statistics department has carried out semi-annual market surveys, covering residents of Cyprus who provide ship management services to ship-owning companies registered in Cyprus and abroad. The surveys collect data on the financial transactions (revenues and expenses) between the resident ship management companies and non-residents of Cyprus.
The most recent survey, which covers the first half of 2018, was published on 1 November. Its main findings are as follows:
- Ship management revenues increased by €30 million during the first half of 2018, reaching €506 million and representing 5.1% of Cyprus's gross domestic product, which is the highest level recorded since 2013.
- The level of concentration in the sector continues to increase, with the top 28% of the companies surveyed accounting for 90% of total revenues, which is six percentage points higher than in the preceding six months.
- Companies managing five or fewer ships accounted for 43% of ship management companies but generated only 10% of the industry's revenues, while companies managing more than 40 ships accounted for only 17% of companies but generated 51% of total revenues.
- The main export destination for the services of the ship management industry was Germany, which accounted for 47% of the sector's revenue, compared with 37% in the previous period. Russia, Singapore (7% each), Switzerland (6%) and Greece (5%) were the next most significant markets.
- The survey draws attention to the fact that while a large number of companies (46% of the total) maintain business links with ship owners in Germany and a moderate number have links with Singapore and Malta (26% and 20% respectively), market penetration in other countries is low. It suggests that the industry may need to place additional emphasis on increasing the level of participation in other countries, particularly those associated with large fleets.
- Sector expenses fell by €1 million compared with the previous six months. Coupled with the increase in revenue, this produced increased profitability despite the uncertainty that still surrounds the shipping sector globally. The main category of expenses was crew wages and related costs, which accounted for 59% of total expenses. Ship management expenses such as spare parts, lubricants and dry‐docking accounted for 21% and administration expenses accounted for 20%.
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