SCI puts its container division on six-month probation

SCI puts its container division on six-month probation

Mumbai: Seriously concerned at the extremely low profits turned out by the container sector in its portfolio, Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) has decided to watch this sector closely over the next six months, and then decide on whether to stay in it, or not.

“We have taken some small but tangible steps to improve the profitability of our liner division, and would like to see if that gives us the desired results,” said SCI’s chairman and managing director Arun Kumar Gupta.

“We must bear in mind that everything in shipping is very depressed at present. Hence, all decisions have to be well thought out. Container is a retail business, and we are too small a player in this segment. Yet, exiting a business is not easy, and will come at a cost.”

The government-owned carrier has managed to turn its fortunes around after spending three years in the red, and is likely to declare a small profit for the financial year ended March 31, 2015. It is, however, unlikely to declare a dividend, since its debt of INR67bn incurs servicing costs of INR12bn per annum.

Shirish Nadkarni

Shirish Nadkarni is a management consultant and freelance international journalist, who has been writing on all spheres of Indian business for the past three decades for a number of reputed overseas publications. An avid sportsman, Nadkarni has represented India in international veterans' badminton since 1997, and was the 55+ age group doubles world champion in 2005.

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