HONG KONG: China-backed COSCO Pacific Ltd announced a first-half net profit increase of 5.4% yesterday as it expanded its shipping container leasing operation, which is the world’s fifth largest.
COSCO Pacific, which is also a port operator here and China, said its net profit totalled US$73.61mil for the six months ended June 30, against a restated interim net profit of US$69.84mil a year ago.
The results, however, lagged a market forecast for US$84.42mil.
For the second half, most analysts expect traffic growth at COSCO’s mainland ports to remain robust but some are concerned its port operation here, the COSCO-HIT joint venture with Hutchison Whampoa Ltd, may record negative growth due to the lagging impact of the SARS outbreak.
COSCO Pacific’s interim earnings growth was largely due to strength at its container leasing operation as it expanded its fleet size and leasing rates remained high, analysts said.
For the six-month period, turnover rose 8.4% to US$125.8mil. – Reuters
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