While revenue rose 7% to $3.24bn, operating profit jumped from $3.3m previously to $210.9m in the current first half as other operating income almost tripled and revaluation of a property turned significantly higher. Investment income of from real estate investment Hui Xian contributed $41.4m and a revaluation of OOIL's Wall Street Plaza saw a net fair value gain of $9.7m recorded.
OOCL’s liftings for the first half year increased 10% and load factor increased by five percentage points leading to an overall revenue increase of 4% over the same period last year.
The company noted in a stock market announcement that while freight rates across various trade lanes had a mixed performance compared to the equivalent period last year, additional liftings made up the revenue shortfall. The first six months of 2014 saw a robust growth in cargo demand in the major European and American markets, OOIL said. However, although volume growth was good in all segments, good revenues did not necessarily ensue.
For example, while Trans-Pacific liftings increased 6%, average revenue per teu was lower by 5%. In this key segment, after a moderate start to the year, volume picked up in the second quarter with stronger cargo demand, the company said.
Asia-Europe was much better for OOCL, the liner arm. Liftings increased 16% while average revenue was only slightly lower by 0.2% in the Asia-Europe trade. The trade benefited from the gradual economic recovery and restocking across the European states.
Weakness was seen in the intra-Asia segment however as the long-worried about cascading from major trades happened. Liftings in the intra-Asia and Australasia trade increased 12%, while average revenue per teu fell by 7%. The trade saw a satisfactory volume growth but was impacted by the cascading of larger ships from the east-west trades, said OOIL.