Profit for Japanese forwarder Yusen Air & Sea Service surged 42.6 percent compared with the previous year to $16.6 million in fiscal 2009, which ended March 31.
Group operating revenue for the year tumbled 26.3 percent to $1.3 billion amid sluggish demand for air and sea cargo services. North America brought $115.9 million in operating revenue, down 35.4 percent from a year earlier, and an operating loss of $53,800, compared with an operating profit of $5.7 million a year earlier.
The Tokyo-based company is the core logistics arm of Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line), Japan's largest shipping firm by sales. In February, NYK Line announced that its domestic logistics unit, NYK Logistics (Japan) will be merged into YAS on or around Oct.1 this year.
In fiscal 2009, the YAS group's operating profit plummeted 49.5 percent to $24.8 million while its ordinary profit -- which is similar to pre-tax profit under the U.S. accounting standards -- plunged 37.9 percent to $35.8 million.
In fiscal 2008, profit nose-dived 85.1 percent from a year earlier to $11.6 million, primarily due to an extraordinary loss stemming from an $18.6 million fine ordered by the Japan Fair Trade Commission for its role in a cartel to raise international air cargo charges. The company expected a significant improvement with the disappearance of the one-off factor.
"The world economy has emerged out of its deep slump seen in early 2009. Helped by governments' economic stimulus measures, the economies of Asian countries, led by China, were the first to move toward recovery, and the U.S. economy followed them in the third quarter of fiscal 2009 although the economies in Europe remain sluggish on the whole," YAS said in its earnings release.
"Meanwhile, the Japanese economy, helped by increased exports, primarily to the rest of Asia, and government stimulus measures, recovered at a moderate pace in fiscal 2009. But it has yet to achieve a full-fledged recovery as consumer spending and corporate capital investment remain sluggish," the company said.
YAS said it expects increases in revenue and profit in fiscal 2010. The company projects $1.6 billion in group operating revenue, up 21.5 percent from fiscal 2009 and net profit of $40.9 million, up 146 percent.
Contact Hisane Masaki at email@example.com.