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NOL second quarter profits sink

NOL second quarter profits sink

Singapore: Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) South East Asia's largest container shipping organisation reported a decline in profits for the first time in five quarters, which the group says is directly due to higher fuel costs. The drop in second quarter net income was in excess of $75m.

Currently involved in a bid to buy out Hapag Lloyd that would create the world's third-largest sea-cargo box carrier, NOL's slow down is seen as coming particularly from the American side of its business.

The company filled up only 90% of its capacity in the second quarter, compared with 98% a year earlier. This mirrors the current environment in which trade between Asia and Europe has declined this year after growing 17% in 2007. The cause for this is cited as being the direct result of the subprime meltdown reducing consumer spending and shipyards delivering more new vessels.  [26/08/08]