Danish shipping's gross profits fell three percent on an annualized basis to $965 million in 1998, hit by falling freight rates and the economic downturn in the Far East
, according to the national statistics office (DS).
Turnover was put at $7.5 billion, a three percent increase from 1997, with gross profits accounting for 12.6 percent of the figure and time chartering earnings up.
"An increase in shippers' container tonnage meant a rise in freight carried but this was not considerable enough to prevent a decline in profits," a DS official said.
The biggest 22 of Denmark's 247 shipping companies, led by shipping and oil group A.P. Moeller's Maersk Line -- the world's biggest container
liner -- accounted for 92 percent of gross profits.