Matson, the Honolulu-based ocean carrier and logistics company, reported profit of $9.1 million for the first quarter, up from $3.8 million, on strong volumes in the Hawaii ocean trade and higher rates in its China service.
Consolidated revenue increased to $394.7 million from $366.1 million a year earlier.
Matt Cox, president and CEO, also attributed the strong profit gains to reduced vessel expenses, following the company’s move to an “optimal nine-ship fleet,” one less than Matson deployed in the first quarter of 2012.
The company’s logistics division reported “healthy” growth in intermodal and highway business, but that was offset by declines in warehouse operations and international intermodal margins. Overall, operating income for the division was flat in the quarter.
“With this solid quarter behind us, our outlook for the full year has shifted slightly higher,” Cox said. “We continue to expect mixed results in our ocean transportation trade lanes as compared to 2012, as evidenced by a decrease in Guam volume during the first quarter, better than expected Hawaii volume trends and anticipated weaker China freight rates for the balance of the year. All said, we are off to a good start.”