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K Line braces for dire results, initiates sweeping reforms

K Line has once again been forced to make changes to financial forecasts, warning today that its net loss for the financial year ending on March 31 will be five times worse than originally forecast, set to hit Y100bn ($895m). On the back of the drastically revised forecast under pressure top management at the line today revealed fundamental structural reforms will take place at Japan’s third largest shipping lines.

Losses were most keenly felt from the launch of joint venture ONE, a new containerline, as well as containership charter contracts and the performance of small and medium-sized bulkers.

K Line, which turns 100 this year, stated that the need for more fundamental reforms was to return to profitability and restart handing out dividend payments as well as strengthening its depleted capital base.

Among the changes announced today, K Line will focus more on capes within its huge dry bulk fleet with smaller and medium sized ships facing the chop while its car carrier network facing a significant streamlining.

K Line’s consistently poor financial results in recent years – and multiple financial forecast revisions – has sparked shareholder revolts. The current boss, Eizo Murakami, is set to hand over the reigns this year.

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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