"K" LINE, Japan's No 3 carrier, posted the annual year-on-year net profit increase to JPY16.6 billion (US$161.9 million), drawn on revenues to JPY1.2 trillion up 7.3 per cent.
Freight rates in containership sector went on at low levels, especially in Europe service routes, due to the stagnant European economies," said a company statement.
"Despite continued instability of the business performance, including the easing of fuel oil price, which improved profitability and the correction of excessive appreciation of yen, lasted for several years, which increased revenues," it said.
The number of loaded containers transported by 'K' Line group recorded a slight increase in Asia to North America service, while there was a five per cent decrease in Asia to Europe service owing to downsizing capacity stemming from weak European economies, the company said.
The logistics segment continued strong, though there was a drop in outbound air cargo from Japan, which resulted in a drop in revenue and profit.
"Containership business segment as a whole broke even, despite increased year-on-year revenues stemming from the corrected yen appreciation."
East-west routes will take advantage of the streamlining effect anticipated by the alliance between major global container shipping lines, vessel operating costs will be reduced, the statement said.
The group has been investigated by the Fair Trade Commission of Japan in relation to alleged cartel in automotive transport. The group is unable to predict the outcome or penalties, damages and other liabilities.
"An adverse outcome of these investigations may materially adversely affect the business, financial condition and operations," the company warned.
Source : HKSG.