The global container shipping industry still faces uncertainties ahead due to ongoing global inflationary pressures and geopolitical risks, Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp (陽明海運) said yesterday, as it announced a cash dividend of NT$20 per share this year, unchanged from last year.
“Since the fourth quarter of last year, consumers’ purchasing power has been diminished by the effects of inflation and high inventory levels,” which has slowed overall economic activity and caused headwinds for the shipping industry, Yang Ming said in a statement.
Yang Ming, Taiwan’s second-largest container shipper by fleet size, said that supply-demand imbalances also continue to weigh on the outlook for freight rates.
Photo: Ann Wang, REUTERS
“According to [maritime consultant] Alphaliner’s latest forecast, an oversupply in the container shipping market is expected in 2023, with an 8.2 percent growth in capacity and a 1.4 percent growth in throughput,” Yang Ming said.
On a positive note, there is a potential for improvement in economic activity, the shipper said, citing a forecast by the IMF in January of 2.9 percent growth for the global economy this year, up from its previous prediction of 2.7 percent growth.
“As China lifts [COVID-19] restrictions and the gradual reduction of inventory, it might stimulate overall economic activity. These factors are likely to create a relatively positive environment for the shipping industry in the second half of the year,” Yang Ming said.
With the International Maritime Organization’s Carbon Intensity Indicator taking effect this year, container shippers are expected to implement slow steaming, retrofit ships and retire older vessel to reduce carbon emissions, which could help balance the supply-demand dynamics, it said.
Yang Ming’s board of directors yesterday approved the company’s plan to distribute a cash dividend of NT$20 per share this year after the company posted consolidated revenue of NT$375.93 billion (US$12.2 billion) last year, setting a new record, with net profit of NT$180.6 billion, or earnings per share (EPS) of NT$51.71.
Revenue increased 12.39 percent from NT$334.48 billion in 2021, and net profit rose 9.28 percent from NT$165.27 billion the previous year, when EPS were NT$48.73.
The proposed dividend represents a payout ratio of 38.68 percent and a dividend yield of 29.85 percent after the company’s shares closed at NT$67 yesterday.
To sustain its profitability amid ongoing external uncertainties, Yang Ming said it aims to explore new business opportunities, optimize its cargo structure, enhance its space utilization and prioritize customer satisfaction.
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