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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

NOL forecasts recovery in 2013 on cost cutting, new ships

Neptune Orient Lines, after reporting its third annual loss in four years, announced that it would improve its performance this year via new ships and cost reductions.

"The company will start 2013 with a better cost base as a result of a modern fleet," said the Singapore-based container carrier in a statement last week. "Barring unforeseen circumstances, the company expects a better performance than in 2012."

NOL, which reported a loss in seven of the past eight quarters, reported a total 2012 net loss of $419 million. The net loss of the three months ending on Dec. 28 was $98 million, compared with the average $12.6 million loss forecast by five analysts consulted by Bloomberg.

NOL sheered costs by $504 million in 2012 by selling its headquarters, liquidating assets and getting rid of older vessels.

NOL, Southeast Asia's largest container line, joined A.P. Moller-Maersk, the world's largest, in projecting an upbeat forecast for 2013. Maersk also reduced its fleet and implemented slow sailing last year to compensate for overcapacity and tepid global consumer demand, and reported that profits in 2013 will top 2012 figures.

APL, the NOL's container-shipping subsidiary, moved 802,000 FEUs for the quarter, 3 percent lower than a year earlier, because of weak Asia-Europe trade. APL operated 129 vessels with a combined capacity of 587,000 TEUs as of Dec. 28, the statement said. It received 10 ships last year, will receive 15 in 2013 and another nine in 2014.

For more of the Bloomberg story: bloomberg.com


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