COMPAGNIE MARITIME BELGE REPORTS INCREASED PROFIT

COMPAGNIE MARITIME BELGE REPORTS INCREASED PROFIT

Compagnie Maritime Belge (CMB), Belgium's largest shipowner, increased consolidated profits by 1.7 percent last year to 576 million Belgian francs ($16.6 million) from 566.3 million Belgian francs ($16.3 million) in 1986.

Consolidated revenue slipped 2.7 percent to 30.37 billion Belgian francs

from 31.21 billion Belgian francs.CMB said the slight improvement resulted from cost cutting, higher bulk freight rates in the second half of 1987 and the contribution from Stocatra NV, a bulk handling company acquired at the beginning of the year.

However, earnings from liner shipping declined.

Parent company profit surged 50 percent to 635.6 million Belgian francs in 1987 from 422.7 million Belgian francs in the previous year.

CMB said 1988 results would be satisfactory as long as freight rates remain at current levels. On the liner shipping side, it will continue its policy of forming alliances with other shipowners.