HMM racks up $720m annual loss

South Korean flagship carrier HMM has revealed a net loss of KRW808bn ($720m) for the full financial year, marking it out as one of the biggest losers among the world’s top 10 liners. Analysts at box watchers Alphaliner described HMM’s results as “dismal” in their latest weekly report.

HMM, which went through a major restructuring three years ago, cited increased bunker costs, Iranian sanctions and a delay in rate recovery as reasons for the huge loss. HMM’s revenues stood at a record KRW5.22trn in 2018 and its debt ratio, although still high, improved from 301.6% to 282.4%. HMM moved a record 4.46m teu last year, up 10.6% year-on-year, grabbing market share at the expense of profits.

On the market outlook, HMM stated in a release: “Uncertainty over the cargo volumes in 2019 will continue due to the concerns on a global economic slowdown, Brexit, and the US-China trade conflict.”

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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