Cosco Pacific container throughput up 10pc as interim profit triples

Ports in the Pearl, Yangtze river deltas hit by weaker consumption in Europe and the US

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 28 August, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 28 August, 2013, 4:52am


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Cosco Pacific, the largest port operator on the mainland, said it was on track to increase throughput 10 per cent this year and acquire other firms, after its first-half net profit more than tripled.

The net profit of the port-to-container-leasing company rose 213 per cent to US$560.3 million. Underlying net profit dipped 3.6 per cent to US$143.8 million after stripping out a US$393.4 million one-off gain from the disposal of a container manufacturing unit.

Profit at its terminal business dropped 5 per cent year on year to US$92.8 million on an increase in tax and losses at its new port in Xiamen.

Container throughput grew 9.7 per cent in the first half from the same period last year.

The 40-day strike at Hong Kong Kwai Tsing Terminal in the first half dented the profit of the Cosco-HIT terminal, with its earnings falling 18.6 per cent to US$9.75 million. Consumption in Europe and the United States remained weak, affecting ports in the Pearl River Delta and the Yangtze River Delta, the company said.

The outlook for ports in northern China was better, it added. In the first half, throughput in the Bohai Rim region grew 12.5 per cent year on year.

"The company will be committed to meeting the full-year target for throughput growth in 2013 and the throughput is believed to grow steadily," vice-chairman Wang Xingru said in a filing with the Hong Kong stock exchange yesterday.

Wang said the company would continue to develop its terminal business and assess investment opportunities in terminal projects in the mainland, Southeast Asia, North America and Europe.

The profit of its container leasing business rose 5 per cent year on year in the first half to US$76.3 million. The world's fourth-largest container leasing company said its container fleet increased 4 per cent to 1.87 million twenty-foot equivalent units (teus) in the first six months.

In that period, the company took delivery of 65,000 teus of new containers, all of which were purchased from sister company Cosco Container Lines (COSCON).

Cosco Pacific shares fell 0.2 per cent to HK$11.28 yesterday. The Hang Seng index dropped 0.6 per cent.