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NOL $152m in the red in H1, box shipping overcapacity to continue

NOL $152m in the red in H1, box shipping overcapacity to continue
Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) remained in the red in the first half of 2014 with a $152m loss, and expects overcapacity to continue to depress container shipping rates.

The loss compares to a $41m profit in the first half of 2013, however, that period included a $200m one time gain from the sale of its headquarters building in Singapore in the first quarter. Revenues for the first half of 2014 were down 2% at $4.33bn compared to $4.43bn a year earlier.

For the second quarter of 2014 losses widened to $54m compared to $35m in the same period last year.

Finding a bright spot in its results NOL highlighted core EBIT where the loss in Q2 2014 declined to $15m compared to a $31m loss in the same period in 2013.

“The key for us is to get back to profitability and have some work to do,” said Ng Yat Chung, president and ceo of NOL, speaking to a webcast for its half-year results.

NOL said it had made cost savings of $200m in the first half of the year, however liner overcapacity continued to put pressure on container freight rates.

“We do expect overcapacity to continue to exist as the industry continues taking additional capacity,” said Kenneth Glenn, president of liner unit APL. “We expect freight rates to continue to be under pressure.”

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