Shipping Corporation of India’s third quarter net profit fell 40 percent from a year ago to $15.12 million, as the state-owned ocean carrier’s rising operating expenses offset a revenue gain.
The national carrier’s overall revenue surged 36 percent year-over-year to $270 million in the October-December quarter, while operating expenses jumped 39 percent to $242 million from $174 million a year earlier.
Despite a 28 percent increase in operating income, the carrier’s liner segment slumped to a loss of $5 million compared with a $2 million profit a year earlier. Officials said severe freight rate erosion on major trade lanes adversely impacted container shipping business.
SCI’s core bulk shipping division reported a $28 million operating profit against revenue of $181 million.
From April through December, the first three quarters of fiscal 2012, the company lost $15 million compared with a $117 million profit in the year-ago period. Total revenue for the nine-month period increased 13.5 percent year-over-year to $682 million.
The poor results come as the country’s largest ocean carrier embarked on a $4 billion fleet expansion program aimed at doubling its overall capacity to 10 million deadweight tons from the current 5.82 million dwt. SCI has 26 vessels of 1 million dwt. on order with deliveries scheduled between 2012 and 2014.
For fiscal 2010-11 ended March 31, the company posted net profit of $126 million, up 50 percent from $84 million the previous year.