Wisdom Marine Lines Co (慧洋海運), the nation’s largest dry bulk shipping company by fleet size, turned profitable last quarter, on recovering demand from the US and Chinese markets and rising freight rates, the firm said on Wednesday.
The company reported a pretax profit of NT$117.52 million (US$4.1 million) during the July-to-September period, with pretax profit per share of NT$0.16, ending two consecutive quarterly losses, corporate data showed.
Wisdom’s sales last quarter declined 12 percent year-on-year to NT$3.12 billion, a milder slump than their 20 percent plunge in the first six months of the year, as demand for freight remained weak amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the company said.
Business began picking up as the industry entered its peak season with rising demand for bulk shipping of grain products from North America to other markets, Wisdom said in a statement.
Orders from China also rose as Beijing bought an additional US$200 billion of US commodities as part of a “phase one” trade agreement with Washington, the company said.
As a result, the Baltic Dry Index — compiled by the London-based Baltic Exchange and which tracks the shipping costs of raw materials, such as coal, iron ore and grain — recovered to a comparatively high level in the quarter ending last month, hovering at 1,264 to 1,803, compared with a range of 393 to 1,799 a quarter earlier, the firm said.
Expecting the demand to continue climbing, Wisdom said it was upbeat about its fourth-quarter outlook, due to peak season demand for sea freight.
For the first nine months, Wisdom remained in the red with a cumulative loss of NT$301 million, or minus-NT$0.42 per share.
The company expects its bottom line to improve next quarter, amid recovering business and disposal gains from retiring aged vessels, it said.
Wisdom is cautious about the risk of a second wave of COVID-19 in the winter, but as many countries have instituted virus prevention measures at seaports, shipping operations should not be significantly affected, it said.
Given that a U-shaped rebound is predicted for the global economy next year, the company expects sea freight demand to stabilize, as sea shipping plays an important role in international trade, Wisdom said.
In related news, Evergreen Marine Corp (長榮海運) on Thursday reported annual revenue growth of 15 percent for last month, totaling NT$19.35 billion, which led to 11 percent annual growth last quarter, amounting to NT$55 billion.
In the first nine months of the year, Evergreen saw its cumulative sales remain flat from a year earlier at NT$142 billion, as strong gains in sales last quarter offset declines in the first two quarters, corporate data showed.
MOMENTUM: While next-generation smartphones feature more semiconductors and vendors increase their inventory, the chipmaker remains focused on production in Taiwan Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), the sole chip supplier for Apple Inc’s iPhone series, yesterday raised its revenue forecast again, saying that robust demand for 5G smartphones and high-performance-computing (HPC) would help boost revenue this year by 30 percent in US dollar terms. Three months ago, the chipmaker estimated that revenue would grow 20 percent this year from last year, reaching its long-term growth target of 15 to 20 percent annually. “Moving into the fourth quarter, we expect our growth in revenue to be supported by strong demand for our industry-leading 5-nanometer technology driven by 5G smartphone launches and HPC-related applications,”
WIN-WIN SITUATION: Customers, products and client portfolios of the companies are complementary, allowing for inroads into new fields, Chipbond’s chairman said Chipbond Technology Corp (頎邦) yesterday said it plans to acquire about a 31 percent stake in Orient Semiconductor Electronics Ltd (華泰電子) in a cash-and-share deal, aiming to make inroads into flash memory-chip packaging. Chipbond said the strategic alliance would open the door for the company to enter the flash memorychip packaging and testing market, which is a new business for the Hsinchu-based company. Chipbond primarily provides testing and packaging services for driver integrated circuits that are used in flat panels. BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY “Except for flash memory chips, we also saw a lot of new businesses that require the technologies of Chipbond or Oriental
India’s COVID-19 economic gloom turned into despair this week, on news that its per capita GDP for this year might be lower than that of Bangladesh. “Any emerging economy doing well is good news,” Kaushik Basu, a former World Bank chief economist, said on Twitter after the IMF updated its World Economic Outlook. “But it’s shocking that India, which had a lead of 25% five years ago, is now trailing.” Ever since it began opening up the economy in the 1990s, India’s dream has been to emulate China’s rapid expansion. After three decades of persevering with that campaign, slipping behind Bangladesh hurts
BROADER STANCE: While growth in its core consumer electronics assembly business is decreasing, the manufacturing giant aims at a 10 percent gross margin Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) said it aims to secure a 10 percent share of the world’s electric vehicle market by 2025, with about 3 million vehicles potentially using its platform. The electronics giant yesterday unveiled the plan to expand its nascent automobile business, saying that it seeks to offset slowing growth in its core consumer electronics assembly business. The company also outlined plans to release a solid-state battery by 2024 that could potentially displace the more commonly used lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles. Hon Hai plans to achieve its ambitious target by making its software and hardware platforms “open,” Hon Hai