SEOUL, Aug. 11 (Korea Bizwire) – Hyundai Merchant Marine Co., South Korea’s top shipping firm, said Friday that it continued to suffer an operating loss in the second quarter of the year due to still lower freight rates.
Its operating loss reached 128 billion won (US$112 million) in the April-June period, the company said in a regulatory filing.
The second-quarter bottom line marks a ninth quarterly operating loss since the second quarter of 2015.
Sales, however, jumped 22.1 percent on-year to 1.24 trillion won over the cited period, it said.
“Although revenues increased, which helped narrow the company’s operating loss, freight rates remained low, denting our bottom line,” it said.
Hyundai Merchant handled some 986,000 TEUs in the second quarter, up 46 percent from a year earlier.
Fuel costs also surged 62 percent, but its operating loss from its container shipping business narrowed to 96.2 billion won from 220 billion won over the cited period, it said.
Hyundai Merchant expects business conditions to improve starting this quarter, with shipping rates to improve as well.
In a press meeting, Hyundai Merchant chief executive Yoo Chang-keun said the shipper will strive to achieve a 5-percent rate of operating income to sales within five years.
“In all aspects, Hyundai Merchant witnessed an improvement,” Yoo said, vowing to redouble efforts to improve its business performance.
Earlier, Yoo said the shipping firm will be able to achieve a turnaround during the second half of next year given its improving financial status and business conditions.
The top executive said the forecast for Hyundai Merchant is based on prospects of improved business conditions, reduced costs and realigned routes.