NOL has strong second quarter

NOL has strong second quarter

Neptune Orient Lines Ltd. on Thursday reversed year-ago results for the second quarter as it reported a net profit of $68.5 million, compared with a loss of $63.8 million for the same period in 2002.

The Singapore-based shipping group, which operates the world's seventh-largest ocean carrier, had losses in both 2001 and 2002.

Revenue for the three months ended June 30 surged 23 percent to $1.29 billion from $1.05 billion a year earlier as volume and rates continued to gain strength.

Looking ahead, NOL's recently appointed chief executive, David Lim, said the company "expects to achieve significantly better results" in the second half.

He said the group's balance sheet will be strengthened through improved operations and proceeds from the sale of its American Eagle Tankers unit. In July, NOL completed the sale of American Eagle for $445 million to Malaysia International Shipping Corp..