Neptune Orient Lines Ltd. (NOL) expects a better second half and overall profit in the current year. NOL said the bottoming out of the Asian economic crisis had resulted in higher cargo volumes in most sectors. Freight rates out of Asia to Europe and North America had also increased since mid-year, it said in comments accompanying its result.
NOL reported an interim net profit, the first time in two years, but results were disappointing as gains came mostly from non-recurring items. The national shipping giant reported a net profit of S$10.02 million for the six months ended June 30, 1999 against a net loss of S$240.76 million a year earlier.
While rates for Asia inbound
containers have weakened, rates for NOL's two major trade routes were expected to firm. Asia to North America saw rates firm by $500 per teu from May while Asia to Europe rose
by $75 per teu from April.