China freight operator Sinotrans said its profit in the first half of the year rose 7.6 percent year-over-year to $86.5 million, as growth in the forwarder’s business within China offset the decline in the overall international freight market.
Revenue at the world’s fifth-largest forwarder grew 3 percent to $3.2 billion within the same period, largely due to a 25.8 percent increase in freight through China. However, even that segment, along with the overall Chinese economy, showed signs of slowing, Sinotrans said.
"The increase in revenue was mainly attributable to the slow down of China’s growth rate of foreign import and export trade, particularly foreign export trade, and the drop in freight rates of containers shipping as well," the company said.
Sinotrans' forwarding business rose 0.3 percent to $2.7 billion, while revenue from its shipping agency service increased 10.5 percent to $41.3 million. Its storage and terminal services revenue grew 15 percent to $127 million, while its marine transportation revenue jumped 33.3 percent to $296 million.
The Hong Kong-listed company said it expect the global economy to continue its recovery, but the growth disparity between different countries, especially in the U.S. and Europe, could curtail Chinese export growth, the company said.
“In the second half of the year, from a domestic perspective, China will put a lot of efforts in balancing and choosing among the triple objectives of maintaining a stable and relatively fast economic growth, stabilising overall price level and accelerating economic restructuring," Sinotrans said.
The company expects China’s economic growth in the second half of the year to slow, giving the country an annual growth rate of 9 percent.