The liner carrier APL said Thursday it has an operating profit of $55 million in the third quarter, reversing the $88 million lost during the same period in 2011.
The positive result from the liner business was part of a $74 million operating profit for Singapore-based NOL, parent of APL and sister company APL Logistics.
APL's revenue in the third quarter was nearly $2 billion, a 3 percent increase year-on-year, while average revenue per TEU carried increased 2 percent to $2,601 per FEU. APL’s volume increased 1 percent in the quarter year-on-year to 1.4 million TEUs.
Year to date, APL’s performance through three quarters, however, is worse than the corresponding period in 2011, due largely to a poor first quarter where the line lost $246 million. The line sustained $184 million in operating losses through the first nine months of 2012, compared to $149 million through three quarters in 2011.
For the year, container volume is up 3 percent to 4.4 million TEUs. Revenue is up 2 percent to nearly $6 billion.
APL Logistics, meanwhile, increased operating profits by 19 percent year-on-year in the third quarter to $19 million. Revenue rose 10 percent to $365 million. Year-to-date, APL Logistics operating profit is $41 million, a 16 percent decline on the same period in 2011, while revenue has increased 10 percent to $1.1 billion.
On a group-wide basis, NOL’s $74 million operating profit in the third quarter compares favorably to the $72 million it lost in the corresponding quarter in 2011. Net profit in the quarter was $50 million, compared to a loss of $91 million in the third quarter of 2011. Revenue rose 4 percent year-on-year to $2.3 billion.
Year-to-date, the NOL Group has sustained operating losses of $143 million, compared to $100 million through three quarters a year ago. Net losses have more than doubled to $321 million, while revenue has grown 3 percent to $7 billion.
“Our efforts to improve the group’s competitive position are paying off,” said NOL Group Chief Executive Officer Ng Yat Chung. “Going forward, maintaining focus on the fundamentals of our business – service quality, operational efficiency and cost discipline – will be key to improving performance.”
The company said it has achieved $360 million in savings through a cost and efficiency drive in the first three quarters of 2012, with a full-year goal of $500 million.
“We were able to move more with a smaller fleet capacity, and reduced bunker fuel consumption,” said APL President Kenneth Glenn. “These efficiency gains, coupled with our fleet modernization program, are the reasons our unit costs have improved significantly. We believe these initiatives position us well into the future.”
The line said due to the poor results in the first quarter, it still expects to post a loss for the year. - Eric Johnson