Sinotrans see sharp profit increase

Sinotrans see sharp profit increase

Sinotrans Ltd., the Chinese logistics and shipping company, said net profit rose 23 percent in 2003 from a year ago on demand for its logistics services, but it warned profits growth would moderate to gains of 10-15 percent this year.

Profit totaled 705 million yuan ($85 million) for the year ended Dec. 31, 2003, compared to $69.1 million in 2002. A Sinotrans statement said all of the company's three core services -- freight forwarding, express and shipping agency work -- showed double-digit increases.

The company said it expects revenues to increase by 15-20 percent this year.

"Further growth in the company's business is expected in 2004 as China's economic growth continues to gain pace, underpinned by robust demand in the logistics and transportation market," President Zhang Jianwei said in a statement.

Revenue reached $2.1 billion last year, up 28.2 per cent from $1.5 billion in 2002.

The number of containers handled by the company's ocean freight forwarding unit grew by 16.3 per cent to 3 million TEUs in 2003, up from 2.58 million TEUs in 2002, while the volume of cargo handled by Sinotrans' air freight forwarding group increased by 15.5 percent, from 159,100 tons in 2002 to 183,700 tons in 2003.

Revenue from express services rose by 52.9 percent to $212.6 million from $138.9 million. The number of documents and packages handled climbed 28.3 percent to 12.2 million pieces from 9.54 million pieces a year ago. State-owned Sinotrans has captured a large slice of China's booming parcel market through partnerships with courier giants DHL Worldwide Express and United Parcel Service.

Revenue from shipping agency services grew by 9.6 per cent from $45.9 million in 2002 to $50.4 million in 2003.

The number of containers handled by the division increased by 30.1 percent to 6.05 million TEUs in 2003 from 4.65 million TEU in 2002.