State-owned Shipping Corporation of India said its first fiscal quarter net loss widened to $10 million from $1 million a year ago largely because of higher interest and operating expenses.
The national ocean carrier’s overall revenue for the three months to the end of June increased 28 percent year-over-year to $230 million.
Despite a 22 percent increase in operating income, SCI’s liner division fell $7.4 million into the red compared with $11.2 million a year earlier. “The container shipping segment has shown some recovery in light of recent rate restoration initiatives on major trade lanes. We expect much improved results in the coming months,” a senior official said.
The company’s core bulk shipping division reported a $9.2 million operating profit against revenue of $155 million.
Operating expenses during April to June jumped about 23 percent year-over-year to $223 million from $181 million. Bunker costs rose 40 percent to $81 million.
SCI, India’s largest shipping line, swung to a $78 million loss in fiscal 2011-12, which ended March 31, compared with a $103 million profit the previous year.
The poor results come as the company is poised to take delivery of 26 new vessels it ordered earlier as part of a $4 billion fleet expansion program.
In related news, SCI recently indicated plans to shut down Irano Hind Shipping Company, its joint venture with Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, in the wake of tightening U.S. and European Union sanctions against Tehran.
Established in 1975, IHSC is 51 percent owned by IRISL and 49 percent by SCI. Officials said negotiations were underway to split the joint unit’s fleet of seven vessels between the two partners.