NOL confident 2013 will be more fortunate

Singapore: A strong finish to the year shielded Neptune Orient Lines from posting losses in excess of half a billion dollars. In the final quarter NOL managed a core EBIT loss of $69m, 75% better than in the same period of 2011.

NOL posted a full year net loss of $419m in results announced on Friday.

NOL also said that its efficiency programme delivered $504m of cost savings.

“General market conditions in 2012 remained challenging. But thanks to our focus on increasing efficiencies throughout the group, we are in a better competitive position than before,” said NOL group ceo Ng Yat Chung. “We have improved our cost base, renewed our fleet and expanded our logistics business. We are starting 2013 on a stronger footing than a year before.”

NOL said 2012 revenue increased 3% to $9.5bn. NOL’s supply chain management business, APL Logistics, reported record revenue of $1.6bn.

APL, NOL’s liner shipping business, improved its performance in 2012 by $167m to report a core EBIT loss of $279m. APL shipped 3.02m feu in 2012, a 1% growth in volume, achieved with a smaller and more efficient fleet. APL reduced its fleet capacity by 8% and total fuel consumed by 10% during the year.

While expecting improved financial results in 2013, NOL warned in its outlook: “The global economy has shown some signs of improvement. However, the container shipping industry continues to face severe oversupply, causing considerable container freight rate uncertainty.”

Meanwhile, it has been announced that Jim McAdam, president of APL Logistics, will leave the company later this year. McAdam will remain with the company until a successor has been named.  [25/02/13]

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