CSAV moves to bolster finances
Chilean container shipping company CSAV said it will bolster its finances through a two-part plan that includes increasing its capital by $500 million and selling 49 percent of the shares in its subsidiary South American Air and Maritime Agencies.
SAAM is involved in a number of businesses — ship agency work, operation of tugboats, running container depots and repairing containers, stevedoring (including operation of Florida International Terminal in Port Everglades), bulk terminals, running dry and refrigerated warehouses.
After a strong comeback in 2010, CSAV said high oil prices have increased operating costs and freight rates have “experienced an important deterioration due to the sluggish recovery of demand, which seriously impacted exports from Asia to the rest of the world, following the traditional low season associated with the Chinese New Year.
“The simultaneous occurrence of these events has created a very complex scenario, which in the short term is affecting the operational results of CSAV and the industry in general., CSAV said.
The company said it wanted to “confront the adverse market scenario in the best possible manner; and to increase operational efficiency and boost the development of the Company in the medium and long term.”
Reporting its annual results in U.S. dollars, CSAV said it had net profit of $181.5 million in 2010 compared to a loss of $653.4 million in 2009.
Revenue was $5.45 billion in 2010 compared to $3.04 billion in 2009.
CSAV’s monthly container liftings have grown steadily in the past two years, to 295,600 in January from 124,800 TEU in February 2009, but fell slightly to 272,300 in February.
But freight rates have weakened steadily since last fall. The CSAV Group Container Business Rate Index rose steadily from the summer of 2009 until September 2010. Since then it has fallen to 1,584 in February from 2,025 in September 2010 (The index was pegged at 2,000 for the average price in 2008).