"K" Line profit tripled in first half

"K" Line profit tripled in first half

"K" Line, boosted by a tide of rising freight rates, reported a threefold increase in net income and operating income for its fiscal first half, ended Sept. 30.

Rising freight rates helped boost the company's operating income to 34 billion yen ($314 million), compared with 11.3 billion yen ($104.3 billion) in the same period last year. Net income was $147 million, compared with $45 million last year.

The Japanese carrier said it reduced costs in its container ship business by $212 million.

The U.S.-led war on Iraq and SARS turned out to have little overall impact during the first half of the fiscal year despite some initial concerns, "K" Line said.

Overall volume grew, with the most dramatic increases in services to China. In the company's North American services, freight rates stabilized after last year's lows, and volumes rose due to increased home construction. Cargo on "K" Line's Europe services was steady, which helped the company attain higher rates.