Crowley’s liner services post lower earnings
The liner services of Crowley Maritime Corp. ended 2004 with continued pressure on their operating margin, with operating income down 6 percent last year to $19.7 million from $20.9 million in 2003.
Crowley Maritime reported that its liner arm Crowley Liner Services increased its revenue 9 percent in 2004 to $632.3 million from $578.6 million in 2003, but without a commensurate increase in operating income. The carrier’s operating margin as a percentage of revenue declined to 3.2 percent in 2004 from 3.6 percent in 2003.
Liner services operating expenses increased 10 percent last year due to an increase in volume, higher vessel and bunker costs, and the allocation of certain costs arising from the settlement in 2004 of asbestos-related claims.
Crowley Liner Services, which comprises both a carrier and a logistics unit, increased its operating revenues last year due to a 3-percent increase in container and non-container volume, an 8-percent increase in average revenue, and a 40 percent increase in other logistical service revenues.
Its container and non-container volume increased to 599,693 TEUs during 2004 from 581,955 TEUs in 2003, Crowley said.
Crowley’s ship assist and escort service arm increased its operation income to $10.2 million in 2004 from $9.7 million, but the group’s two other units — energy/marine services and oil/chemical distribution and transportation — saw their operating results decline last year.
Including all four units, the Crowley group increased its net earnings to $24.9 million in 2004 from $12.8 million, with revenue moving up 9 percent during 2004 to $1 billion from $968.1 million.