POORER CONTAINER RESULTS CUT MOL GROUP’S PROFITS
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines reported a 24-percent lower group operating income of 60 billion yen ($449 million) for its fiscal year ended March 31, as it blamed a sharp fall in the results of its container shipping arm.
Group net income decreased by 4 percent in the 2001/2002 fiscal year, to Yen11 billion ($79 million) and group revenue increased by 2 percent in local currency, to Yen904 billion ($6.8 billion).
Particularly during the second half of the April 2001/March 2002 financial year, cargo volumes and freight rates declined because of more intense competition, MOL said.
“The liner division expanded and improved services,” it said. “However, profitability declined sharply from the previous year as a result of surplus cargo space, declining freight rates, and a decrease in cargo volumes.”
By contrast, MOL reported that the overall profitability of its non-liner operations increased from the previous year. However, the group’s forwarding and warehousing activities posted operating losses of about Yen300 million ($2 million) on revenue of Yen45 billion ($338 million).
MOL’s liner shipping activities had revenues of Yen285 billion ($2.2 billion) in the latest fiscal year, as compared to revenues of Yen260 billion ($2 billion) from bulkers and car carriers, and Yen145 billion ($1.1 billion) from tankers and gas carriers.
For the current fiscal year, ending in March 2003, MOL predicts a higher net income of Yen15 billion ($115 million), and a lower ordinary income of Yen30 billion ($231 million).
Commenting on its trading prospects for the current financial year, MOL said that it expects difficult conditions to persist, especially in overseas shipping.