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OOIL suffers $232m interim loss

Hong Kong: Orient Overseas International Limited (OOIL), the parent of Orient Overseas Container Line, posted heavy losses in the first half, albeit better than its peers. The Hong Kong liner suffered a $232m in the first half contrasting poorly with 2008's $258m interim performance. Yesterday, Singapore's NOL posted $391m in interim losses.
Revenue at OOIL fell 35% year-on-year (versus NOL's 37% decline), mainly driven by the 17% reduction in container volumes and 24% fall in average freight rates. Asia-Europe/transatlantic routes were the hardest hit, with revenues down 50% y/y while transpacific and intra-Asia/Australasia revenues fell 27% and 33% respectively.
Capacity was reduced by 14%. Management said rising bunker prices are a concern.
Its property portfolio has also struggled in the first half.
The Chairman of OOIL, C C Tung, said, "Market conditions in the first six months of 2009 have been extraordinarily difficult for the core business of Container Transportation and Logistics, resulting in a trading loss for the Group for the half year.  With industry capacity continuing to increase, and continued weakness in the US and European economies, I expect trading conditions for the remainder of the year to remain difficult.  While there are signs that the worst of the downturn may be behind us, a rebound in the global economy is expected to be subdued." [07/08/09]


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