You can't fuel all the people all the time, but World Fuel Services tries hard to do just that. World Fuel Services provides fuel and services to commercial and corporate aircraft, petroleum distributors, and ships at more than 6,000 locations around the world, 24 hours a day. Its aviation fueling business focuses on serving small to midsized air carriers, cargo and charter carriers, and private aircraft. World Fuel Services also markets fuel and related services to petroleum distributors operating in the land transportation market. All told, it has almost 50 offices in more than 20 countries, and does business in 200 countries and/or territories.
World Fuel Services maintains its competitive edge by offering a range of support services (such as fuel market analysis, flight planning, ground-handling services, and weather reports) to its aviation and marine customers.
As part of its marine fueling services business, World Fuel Services arranges fueling for ships on a brokered basis and extends credit to a global customer base, which includes container lines, cruise ships, dry bulk carriers, fishing fleets, refrigerated vessels, and tankers. The company also provides financial credit for aviation fuels.
High oil prices produced robust petroleum product prices in 2011, which (coupled with World Fuel Services' acquisitions) lifted the company's revenues that year by 81%, and its net income by 32%.
Sales took a hit in 2009 because of the global recession, low commodity prices, and the slump in global transportation triggered by the weak economy. A rebounding economy and the impact of acquisitions saw the company's revenues jump sharply in 2010.
World Fuel Services has increased its geographic coverage and the depth of its portfolio through acquisitions. In 2012 the company acquired CarterEnergy's wholesale motor fuel distribution business. Kansas-based CarterEnergy, with an annual volume of more than of 500 million gallons, distributes branded fuel to more than 700 retail operators and is a supplier to industrial, commercial, and government customers in more than a dozen states.
To improve its payment processing operations, that year it also bought certain assets from Multi Service Corporation for $137 million.
Boosting its aviation fuel segment, in 2011 (for an undisclosed amount) World Fuel Services acquired The Hiller Group, an aviation fuel supplier to more than 600 fixed base operators. It also bought Ascent Aviation, a national branded reseller of aviation fuel for ConocoPhillips and deicing fluid for Dow Chemical, and which supplies more than 450 airports and fixed base operators, and NATO aviation fuel and logistics supplier Nordic Camp Supply (for $68.5 million.)
In 2010 it beefed up its position in the branded onshore wholesale market to 1 billion gallons a year by acquiring Lakeside Oil Company, based in Milwaukee. It also boosted its market position through the acquisition of leading independent petroleum marketing company Western Petroleum for $95 million. – less