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HMM trims second quarter loss, reports revenue increase of 12.8%

Korean carrier expects volumes to increase in peak season despite U.S.-China trade war.

Hyundai Merchant Marine (011200.KS), South Korea’s largest container carrier, said it had an operating loss in the second quarter of 2019 of 112.9 billion won (about $93 million at the current exchange rate of about 1,215 won to the U.S. dollar), a decrease from the 199.8 billion won loss reported in the same 2018 period.

Revenue in the second quarter of 2019 was about 1.4  trillion won, a 12.8% increase from the 1.24 trillion won reported in the second quarter of 2018.

The company handled 1,157,705 TEUs of containerized cargo in the second quarter of 2019, compared to 1,154,225 TEUs in the second quarter of 2018. Hyundai is rapidly increasing the size of its fleet, ordering 20 new ships last year.

HMM said it expects volumes to increase in the peak season, but added that “global trade uncertainty will persist, attributed to the U.S.-China trade conflict, instability in the Middle East, Brexit and, most recently, growing political and trade concern between South Korea and Japan.”

The company said it was seeking to “maximize profitability through securing high-yield cargoes, optimizing fleet management and restoring freight rates.”

HMM currently shares space on ships with the 2M alliance partners Maersk and MSC, but next April will become the fourth member of THE Alliance, joining Hapag-Lloyd, Ocean Network Express and Yang Ming. It said it “expects to obtain competitive cost structure through joint operation and offer reliable services with diversification of service routes” by joining THE Alliance.

Chris Dupin

Chris Dupin has written about trade and transportation and other business subjects for a variety of publications before joining American Shipper and Freightwaves.