ZIM Israel Navigation Co has reported net profit of US$23 million for the nine months to September, up from $17.2 million the same period last year. Revenue from ocean transport and ancillary services aggregated $963.5 million, up 3.1 per cent. The rise in income from ocean transport and related services was derived mainly from an increase in the volume of cargo carried. Containers carried in the period amounted to 561,900 TEUs, up 8.1 per cent from the 519,900 TEUs recorded a year ago. Operating expenses and the cost of ancillary services increased more than income, mainly on the rise in variable expenses resulting from the greater number of containers carried and lower income per unit of cargo. Zim said it was operating in a competitive environment in all trade areas, and that recently there had been a stiffening of competition in home trade as additional shipping companies entered the trade. These included companies from eastern Europe and Russia, which had a competitive advantage through low labour costs and no capital expenses. The company recently ordered five container vessels from HDW shipyards in Kiel, Germany, and holds an option for three more. The ships will each have a capacity of 3,400 TEUs and a speed of 22 knots. The ships will be delivered between April 1966 and February 1997.