Mitsui OSK Lines ups full year profit forecast by 20%

Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) has upped its full year profit forecast for the year ended 31 March 2018 by 20% to JPY12bn ($108.5m) as it forecasts a gradual improvement in most major shipping sectors.

One Japan’s “big three” shipowners MOL reported a first quarter net profit of JPY5.2bn ($48.6m) for the period ended 30 June 2017, compared to JPY1.4bn in the corresponding period a year earlier. The company reported revenues of JPY403.2bn ($3.6bn) for the first quarter of the year compared to JPY360.1bn a year earlier.

All of MOL’s operating segments were in the black at an ordinary profitability level in the first quarter excluding container shipping, which reported a JPY6.2bn loss, although this was an improvement on the JPY11.6bn loss a year earlier.

Looking ahead to the second quarter and beyond MOL said it expected to continue to see a smooth recovery of the world economy.

Improvement was also seen in major shipping segments with MOL increasing its full year profit outlook for the year ended 31 March 2018 to JPY12bn compared to JPY10bn previously.

Looking at the dry bulk market MOL said: “Although demand is vulnerable to changes in Chinese government policy, we don’t anticipate any loss of the current sentiment expecting future rises, and considering the present robustness of cargo volumes, we assume the market will slowly improve.”

The Japanese shipowner also saw support for the VLCC market. “Although the low demand period of summer will continue, we assume the increased production in the US, Libya and other countries will provide underpinning support and that the market will begin recovering as time draws closer to the winter demand period,” it said.

For container shipping some improvements are also seen. “We assume the spot freight market will rise a certain degree over summer. Currently, cargo volume demand is proceeding robustly on all fronts. However, we will need to continue to pay close attention to the global economy and cargo volume trends,” MOL forecast.

Posted 31 July 2017

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Marcus Hand

Editor, Seatrade Maritime News

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