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Two Hong Kong-listed bulk firms report interims, both remain cautious

Two Hong Kong-listed bulk firms report interims, both remain cautious

Hong Kong: Both Pacific Basin and Sinotrans Shipping issued their interims on the same day in Hong Kong. Handy operator Pacific Basin Shipping said its first-half net income totaled $74.8 million, or 4.2 U.S. cents a share, compared to $337.6 million, or 20.8 cents a share, a year before. Revenue fell 53% to $425.9 million from $909.9 million. The company declared a dividend of 8 Hong Kong cents a share, compared with 76 Hong Kong cents last year. Senior management felt their company was well set to push through the current trying times for shipping but remained cautious on a quick rebound.
Meanwhile, Sinotrans Shipping saw revenues slide 49% to $119.5m and net profit fall 66.4% to $64.1m. An interim dividend of HK2 cents per share was announced, representing an approximately payout ratio of 16%.
Zhao Huxiang, Chairman of Sinotrans Shipping, said, "With the deepening of financial tsunami which caused deterioration in the world economy during the first half of 2009, the dry bulk shipping market continued to remain gloomy. Although the Group's business performance during the period was impacted by the overall economic environment and recorded a large setback in its financial results, it still managed to generate a profit attributable to equity holders of US$64.1 million. This is mainly attributable to the Group's flexible strategy of combining both long-term and short-term time chartering. We have managed to control our operating costs which reduced by 29.6% comparing with the cost in the same period of last year. On leveraging our advantages of strong financial position, low operating cost and effective risk control system, the Group was able to grasp the opportunity to expand its fleet and optimize its structure. We recently bought four second-hand vessels including two Handymax dry bulk vessels, one Panamax dry bulk vessel and one container vessel with a capacity of 1,049 TEUs. These vessels would be delivered and put into operation in the second half of the year."  [12/08/09]

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