Hyundai Merchant Marine Co., South Korea’s top shipping firm, said Friday that it continued to suffer an operating loss in the third quarter of the year due to increased fuel costs and still lower freight rates but that it successfully narrowed the loss from a year earlier on cost-saving efforts.
Its operating loss was 29.5 billion won (US$26.4 million) in the July-September period, compared with 230 billion won the previous year, the company said.
The third-quarter bottom line marks the 10th quarterly operating loss since the second quarter of 2015.
Sales, however, jumped 20 percent on-year to 1.29 trillion won over the cited period, it said.
Hyundai Merchant said its fuel costs surged 34.2 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, but its cost-saving efforts helped it narrow the operating loss.
The shipper said sales from its container business soared 28.2 percent on-year in the July-September period, leading to an overall rise in third-quarter revenue. It handled some 1.04 million TEUs in the third quarter, up 41 percent from a year earlier.
Hyundai Merchant expects business conditions, including shipping rates, to start to improve this quarter.
Hyundai Merchant chief executive Yoo Chang-keun said earlier the shipper will strive to achieve a 5-percent rate of operating income to sales within five years and will be able to achieve a turnaround during the second half of next year, given its improving financial status and business conditions.