Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp (陽明海運) yesterday reported net profit of NT$50.84 billion (US$1.83 billion) for last quarter — a company record — as high freight rates boosted revenue and gross margin.
In the third quarter, the container shipper posted revenue of NT$95.45 billion, up 145 percent from a year earlier, while gross profit totaled NT$64.77 billion, 10 times higher than a year earlier.
Yang Ming’s gross margin rose to 67.85 percent, up from 60.17 percent in the second quarter and compared with 14.64 percent a year earlier, although it was still lower than Evergreen Marine Corp’s (長榮海運) 69 percent, the companies’ data showed.
For the first three quarters, Yang Ming reported cumulative net profit of NT$109.88 billion and earnings per share (EPS) of NT$32.73, higher than Evergreen’s EPS of NT$30.27 and Wan Hai Lines Ltd’s (萬海航運) NT$28.37 over the same period, the companies’ data showed.
Yang Ming expects to reduce its debt-to-asset ratio, which totaled about 58 percent at the end of June, to below 50 percent by the end of this year, chairmen Cheng Chen-mount (鄭貞茂) told an event in Taipei on Wednesday.
Last year, routes to the US were the most profitable, but routes to Europe have been the most profitable this year due to congestion at US ports, Cheng said.
Given its record profits this year, the company plans to distribute dividends next year, but the amount has not yet been determined, he added.
Cheng said he remains upbeat about the outlook for the shipping business over the next two years, adding that the company would take delivery of new vessels over the next three years.
In related news, freight forwarder T3EX Global Holdings Corp (台驊國際投資控股) yesterday said that most shippers have forecast that sea cargo would increase in the first half of next year, despite risks such as port congestion and contract negotiations between workers’ unions and ports.
However, demand would still outgrow supply, likely keeping shipping rates elevated, T3EX said.
Yang Ming’s share price yesterday plunged 7.83 percent to NT$106 in Taipei trading, Taiwan Stock Exchange data showed.
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