ROLL-ON CARGO, CAR CARRYINGS BOOST ACL'S OPERATING NET

ROLL-ON CARGO, CAR CARRYINGS BOOST ACL'S OPERATING NET

Atlantic Container Line reported an operating profit of 125 million Swedish

kronor ($18 million) for the first half of 1995, up from 122 million kronor in the corresponding period of last year.

But after adjusting for exchange rate fluctuations, the shipping line said operating profit was 11 percent higher.Although growth in European exports to North America slowed, to about 5 percent in the first half of 1995 from 9 percent last year, the weaker dollar boosted eastbound trade, which was up 15 percent in the January-June period compared with a 3 percent rise over the whole of last year, ACL said.

The carrier, which specializes in trans-Atlantic container and roll-on, roll-off services, said ACL's cargo volumes increased 4 percent in the 1995 first half, with capacity utilization averaging 84 percent, slightly up from the 1994 load factors of 83 percent. ACL singled out its roll-on cargoes and car carryings as sectors that helped lift overall volumes and revenue in the second quarter.

But ACL also noted the sharp rise in bunker fuel prices that averaged $103 a ton in Rotterdam in the first six months of 1995, compared with $77 in the same period last year.

Operating income showed a small increase, to 1,248 million kronor in the 1995 first half from 1,235 million last year.

While ACL said the first half of the year is always much stronger than the latter half because of seasonal shipping patterns, "1995 is nevertheless shaping up to be a much better year for ACL's results than 1994."

"We are confident that our performance in the second half will continue to exceed the second half of last year," Olav Rakkenes, ACL chairman and chief executive, said in a statement.

ACL achieved an operating profit of 202 million kronor last year as the line recovered from huge losses in 1991 and 1992.