Evergreen Marine Corp (Taiwan) has announced a 1.57 per cent rise in 1996 net profit to NT$3.22 billion (about HK$895 million), compared with $3.17 billion in 1995.
Evergreen attributed the rise to tight cost controls which saw operating expenditure cut by almost $1 billion and to increased returns from its investments in other Evergreen group companies such as EVA Airways, Uniglory MarineCorp and Peony Investment.
The company said its operating revenue was $31.26 billion, marginally down on the $31.43 billion for 1995.
Directors declared a cash dividend of $1 and a stock dividend of 70 cents per share.
In a letter to shareholders, Evergreen said it would continue its fleet expansion to achieve greater economies of scale and to develop new routes and markets to increase cargo volumes.
The company said it also would seek more higher-rated cargoes, including reefer traffic, keep tight cost controls and monitor all aspects of service and performance, and focus on fast-growing regions such as China, Southeast Asia and Latin America.
It also planned to make further investments in infrastructure where it was appropriate.
Evergreen said it was confident that its investment in new, highly efficient Panamax and post-Panamax vessels would maintain its competitive market position.