Korean lines struggling
Korean lines Hanjin Shipping and Hyundai Merchant Marine followed the depressed financial trend in container shipping by revealing heavy declines in net profit in the third quarter.
Despite a box volume increase of 15.8 percent to 846,760 TEUs, Hanjin Shipping blamed 'lower freight rates, higher fuel costs and the stronger won,' as its net income dropped 81.6 percent to Won32.5 billion ($34.8 million), from Won176.3 billion in the same period 2005.
Hanjin's operating income dropped 70.4 percent to Won43.1 billion ($46.1 million), although revenue improved 5.6 percent to Won1.6 trillion ($1.7 billion). Hanjin said the improved third quarter revenue over the second quarter was due to higher 'container and bulk sales boosted by the recovery of freight rates.'
Hyundai fared even worse, posting a net loss of Won1 billion ($1.1 million) in the three months ended Sept. 30, compared with a profit of Won45.7 billion a year earlier. Hyundai's revenue went up 2.7 percent to Won1.23 trillion ($1.3 billion).