China Cosco Holdings swung to a full-year net loss of $1.66 billion in 2011, according to Chinese accounting standards, because of slowing international trade volumes and higher bunker fuel costs.
The group’s revenue from all sectors fell 12.3 percent to $10.9 billion last year, but reported a net profit of $1.75 billion a year earlier.
China Cosco Chairman Wei Jiafu said in the firm's earnings report that the global shipping market remains challenging this year because of excessive shipping capacity and slowing international trade growth. But there were some signs of improvement, he added.
He said he expects the global container shipping market to improve in 2012 and the global dry bulk market would pick up again in the second half of 2012.
The company, which is the Beijing-based parent of Cosco Container Lines, issued a warning in October that a full-year loss was likely after it announced a net third-quarter loss of $329 million, down from a profit of $335 million a year earlier.
In 2011 the container volume from Cosco Container Lines and related businesses increased by 11.2 percent year-over-year to 6.91 million 20-foot-equivalent units. Container shipping revenues dropped 11 percent year-over-year to $6.57 billion. Average fuel costs for the container business segment climbed 36.6 percent year-over-year during the period.
The group said the dry bulk sector remained “in the doldrums” as dry bulk shipment turnover falling 7.04 percent year-over-year to 1.32 trillion ton-nautical miles. Dry bulk revenues fell 29 percent to $3.7 billion, while its fuel costs for the period soared 31.7 percent year-on-year.
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