SCI Profit Soars 60 Percent

SCI Profit Soars 60 Percent

Net profit for the state-owned Shipping Corporation of India surged 60 percent from a year earlier to $41 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2010-11 ending June 30.

The strong gain follows a rather poor performance in the previous fiscal year ended March 31 when net profit slipped 60 percent on a year-on-year basis.

Income from operations for the April-June quarter rose 3 percent to $193 million from $188 million a year earlier, the company said in a statement Friday.

SCI’s liner division rolled back into the black, reporting a $5.6 million operating profit compared with a $23 million loss in the year-ago quarter and a $49 million loss for fiscal 2009-10.

“Reduction in operating expenses and a complete turnaround in the liner segment helped the company register good profits in the first quarter. We are the only Indian shipping company currently in international long-haul container operations. We have turned around container operations after a very difficult year in 2009-10,” said S. Hajara, chairman and managing director, announcing the results in Mumbai.

Officials attributed the return to profitability in the liner business to rising traffic volume coupled with freight rate and capacity utilization improvements.

The company’s operating expenses for the quarter totaled $167 million, down from $179 million a year earlier.

Revenue from the container business increased 56 percent to $58 million from $37 million, while the bulk shipping division saw income drop 10 percent to $137 million from $152 million.

As part of a major fleet expansion program, the national carrier earlier announced plans to acquire 72 vessels during the 11th Five-Year Plan (2007 to 2012), and placed orders for 39 ships at an estimated cost of $2 billion.