NOL reports boost in 2nd-quarter earnings
Neptune Orient Lines Tuesday said its second quarter net income more than doubled to $186 million, from $68 million in the year-earlier quarter.
The Singapore-based global transportation and logistics company saw revenue grow 12 percent to $1.45 billion, reflecting NOL's efforts to tighten costs.
'The quarterly profit performance of both the liner and logistics businesses has improved further, despite rising costs within the industry,' said Cheng Wai Keung, chairman of NOL.
Core earnings before net interest expense, tax and exceptional items in the second quarter reached $201 million, while first-half EBIT jumped 151 percent to $377 million.
Exceptional items in the second quartered were $11 million, largely from a write-back of provisions and a reversal in goodwill amortization due to the early adoption of a new accounting standard. Group capital expenses totaled $107 million, with the bulk invested in new container equipment.
Total first-half net profit increased 299 percent to $354 million.
NOL's liner business, APL, achieved core EBIT of $189 million in the second quarter, a 130 percent improvement over last year. Ron Widdows, APL chief executive officer, credited strong volume growth, focusing on maximizing asset utilization, 'managing the mix of business, and controlling costs produced higher average revenue per FEU boosted liner performance.'
Volumes improved 19 percent with continued strong demand and the introduction of additional capacity in the transpacific, Asia/Europe and intra-Asia, Widdows said.
Profits at NOL's supply chain management company, APL Logistics, continued to improve. Core EBIT was $5 million, compared to $3 million in the first quarter of 2004 and $2 million in the second quarter of 2003. Revenues year-on-year grew 18 percent, from both contract logistics and international services in the Americas and Asia, NOL said.
NOL said its outlook for the rest of 2004 'remains buoyant.' Liner growth and utilization should maintain, though higher charter rates and oil prices will put some pressure on costs.