Neptune Orient Lines announces $994.3m profit, but says outlook dim

SINGAPORE - State-linked shipping company Neptune Orient Lines announced on Tuesday its first full-year profit in five years, thanks to the divestment gain from the sale of a logistic business.

However, the company said that the outlook remains bleak, as freight rates at still at historic lows and demand remains weak.

Net profit for the full year ended in December 2015 was US$707 million (S$994.34 million), compared with the US$259 million net loss recorded in 2014. The company completed the sale of APL Logistics to Japan's Kintetsu World Express in May, recording $888 million after allowing for adjustments.

Excluding this one-time gain, NOL would have made a net loss of US$181 million. Revenue for the year declined 23 per cent to US$5.38 billion.

"The fourth quarter was particularly a difficult quarter for the liner industry as a whole," Ng Yat Chung, group president and CEO said on Tuesday evening.

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