Mitsui OSK Lines sees profits squeezed in first quarter

First quarter profits for Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) fell to JPY8.51bn ($83.97m) as shipping markets remained weak with the exception of the LPG sector.

One of the world’s largest shipowners MOL saw Q1 profits fall to JPY8.51bn in the quarter ended 30 June 2014 compared to JPY12.94bn in the same period a year earlier. Revenues for the quarter were up at JPY443bn for Q1 2014 compared to JPY412bn in the same period in the previous year.

At a segment level all sectors were profitable apart from container shipping which reported a JPY7.2bn loss at an ordinary level. “In the market for containerships, the gap between supply and demand remained substantial reflecting deliveries of large containerships, and freight rate levels remained weak as a result,” MOL said.

Although its bulk shipping division, which covers dry bulk, tankers and gas carriers, was profitable at JPY10.8bn in the black, the picture was not much better than for containers with the exception of LPG.

“In the dry bulker market the balance of supply and demand failed to improve due to a continuing surplus of vessel capacity, and as a result the market remained weak overall,” the company said.

“The very large crude oil carrier (VLCC) market slumped until mid-June mainly as a result of a decline in demand for crude oil shipments due to scheduled periodic repairs at oil refineries in the Far East, while the LPG carrier market was strong.”

MOL is forecasting a net profit of JPY40bn for the financial year ended 31 March 2015.


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