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CSCL sees profit quintuple, cautiously optimistic for 2008

Shanghai: China Shipping Container Lines Co., the nation's second largest freight carrier by fleet size, said on Wednesday its net profit almost quintupled last year on surging transport demand fueled by booming domestic and foreign trade.

Net profit reached 3.32 billion yuan (US$467.6 million) from 669.2 million yuan in 2006 under Chinese accounting standards, the Shanghai-based company said in statement to the city's bourse. Per-share earnings rose to 0.362 yuan from 0.074 yuan in 2006.

Operating revenue climbed to 39.1 billion yuan last year, up 26.6 percent from a year earlier, it said.

International shipping revenue rose 20.4 percent to 34.5 billion yuan, about 88 percent of the total, while domestic shipping revenue jumped 119.1 percent to 4.4 billion yuan.

The company's total shipment of 7.3 million twenty-foot-equivalent units (TEU) was up 29 percent last year. Shipments on domestic lines soared 60.5 percent. Asia-Pacific lines were up 20.7 percent, while European and Mediterranean lines were up 7.9 percent.

The company and its president Li Shaode (pictured) said it was cautiously optimistic about the market this year, with "some uncertain factors" existing in the U.S. economy and international oil prices.

The company planned to carry 12.7 percent more cargo this year and boost its fleet capacity by 14.9 percent to 512,361 teu.

CSCL operated a fleet of 365 vessels, with a total capacity of 13.5 million deadweight tons, as of June last year.

Its parent, China Shipping Group., recently signed shipbuilding contracts with Samsung Heavy Industries for eight container vessels with a carrying capacity of 13,300 TEUs each. They will be delivered between 2010 and 2012.  [03/04/08]

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