NOL, the Singapore-based parent of liner carrier APL, said Tuesday its first quarter operating losses fell 64 percent to $85 million, compared to the same period in 2012.
Operating losses for APL alone fell 59 percent to $101 million, while operating profits from APL Logistics grew 27 percent to $16 million.
The NOL Group had a $76 million net profit in the first quarter, a huge improvement over the $254 million it lost in the first quarter of 2012.
Liner revenue fell 2 percent to nearly $2 billion, falling in line with container volume which also dropped 2 percent to 772,000 TEUs. Logistics revenue increased 8 percent to $427 million.
The transpacific remained APL’s core trade, with 4 percent year-on-year growth in volume backed by improving backhaul volumes, the line said. Intra-Asia trade stayed robust, while rate gains in the Asia-Europe trade were shortened by weak demand. APL’s headhaul and backhaul utilizations were higher than 90 percent across major trade lanes.
“The delivery of our new and more fuel-efficient vessels has helped us reduce our vessel slot costs,” said APL President Kenneth Glenn. “We continue to reap benefits from fuel, operational and other cost efficiencies. Profit prioritization remains our target, as we keep our focus on optimizing yield and adopting stricter capacity management as necessary.”
“Our cost base has improved as we continue to build a more competitive NOL,” said NOL Group Choef Executive Officer Ng Yat Chung. “We have improved operational performance considerably from one year ago, so we know we are on the right track. But there is still more work to be done, especially when macro-economic conditions remain challenging, and the container shipping sector continues to face an oversupply situation.” - Eric Johnson