China ShippingÆs profit up 272%
Net profit at China Shipping Container Lines in 2007 soared 271.8 percent to RMB3.22 billion ($441 million) from RMB864.7 million in 2006.
Operating income for last year was rose 157.2 percent to RMB4.30 billion ($589 million), while revenue gained 27.3 percent to RMB38.8 billion ($5.32 billion). Operating costs jumped 20 percent to RMB34.07 billion ($4.7 billion) with container repositioning — up 4.1 percent to RMB8.31 billion ($1.13 billion) — and bunker fuel consumption — up 23.2 percent to RMB7.56 billion ($1.04 billion) — the biggest expenses.
The company said the improved financials were the result of a 29 percent increase in global container volume to 7.3 million TEUs, pumped by soliciting more backhaul cargo, and higher vessel utilization levels. The relatively low freight rates for the backhaul cargo and the domestic trade meant that the carrier's average freight rate was flat at RMB5,299 ($726) per TEU. The average rate for international trade lanes went up about 8.2 percent to RMB7,554 ($1,035) per TEU.
On a trade-wide basis China Shipping's volumes and revenue for 2007 were:
' Pacific Ocean: 1.63 million TEUs, up 13.6 percent; RMB14.06 billion ($1.93 billion), up 4.2 percent.
' Europe/Mediterranean: 1.48 million TEUs, up 7.9 percent; RMB12.81 billion ($1.76 billion), up 49 percent.
' Asia Pacific: 1.23 million TEUs, up 20.7 percent; RMB5.54 billion ($759 million), up 39.5 percent.
' China domestic: 2.75 million TEUs, up 60.5 percent; RMB4.31 billion ($591 million), up 24.8 percent.
' Others: 230,695 TEUs, up 65.8 percent; RMB2.02 billion ($289 million), up 4.2 percent.
China Shipping's containership fleet amounted to 446,037 TEUs as of Dec. 31, up 11.8 percent as compared to 2006. In August the company ordered eight 13,300-TEU vessels from Samsung Heavy Industries that will be delivered from 2010 to 2012.
'In 2008, there are still numerous uncertainties such as the U.S. economy, Asian Pacific regional trade market and fuel price trends. In addition, the continuous increase of shipping capacity in the global shipping market will continue to bring operational pressure to each liner shipping company. However, the group remains cautiously optimistic about the container shipping market in 2008,' China Shipping said in a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. ' Simon Heaney