Three of China's largest shipping companies posted mixed third-quarter results yesterday with China Cosco Holdings remaining in the red, while two subsidiaries of rival China Shipping staunched the red ink of earlier quarters to report net profits.
China Cosco, the listed container shipping, logistics and terminals subsidiary of China's biggest shipping outfit, recorded a 1.53 billion yuan net loss between July and September. But the result was better than the 2.07 billion net loss reported for the third quarter last year.
Conversely, the firm plunged deeper into the red with a 6.4 billion yuan net loss in the first nine months of this year which reflected poor container shipping and dry bulk markets in the first part of this year. This was despite 808.3 million yuan in government subsidies received between January and September this year, more than double the 317.8 million yuan it received last year.
By comparison, the firm saw a 4.77 billion yuan net loss in the first nine months of last year.
The firm gave few details about the performance of its various divisions, but it is possible based on the first-half results that Cosco Container Lines made a small profit in the third quarter. This came after container shipping revenue soared 26.5 per cent to 11.5 billion yuan out of total China Cosco third-quarter revenue of 19.1 billion yuan.
But the dry bulk division, which contributed 3.4 billion yuan of the 4.8 billion yuan total losses in the first half, stayed in the red.
China Cosco's third-quarter report also showed short-term borrowings nearly doubled to 5.64 billion yuan by September 30, compared with the beginning of this year.
By comparison, China Shipping Container Lines posted a 204.2 per cent gain with a net profit of 991.1 million yuan in the third quarter compared with a 951.2 million yuan net loss in the same period last year.
The increase reflected higher container freight rates on Asia-Europe and transpacific services this year. But the carrier remained in the red for the first nine months of this year, posting a 289.9 million yuan net loss, considerably less than the 1.58 billion yuan net loss reported between January to September last year.
Total operating revenue climbed to 9.28 billion yuan in the third quarter against 7.19 billion yuan a year earlier. Total operating revenue in the first nine months rose to 24.59 billion yuan up from 21.17 billion yuan in the same period last year.
China Shipping Development, which specialises in oil and dry bulk cargoes such as coal, reported a net profit of 89.2 million yuan for the third quarter, down 31.8 per cent against 130.8 million yuan last year.
But the company also remained in the red between January and September with a 406.2 million net loss against an 815.2 million net profit the last time.