CP Ships Report 3Q Results

Wednesday, October 29, 2003
CP Ships Ltd. was able to report a 37% increase in net income in the third quarter despite higher costs, due to continuing general improvement in industry conditions. The company said its operating profit in the latest quarter was the highest since it went public in October 2001. Third-quarter net income was $33 million or 36 cents a share, up from $24 million or 27 cents a year earlier. The Thomson First Call mean estimate was for net income of 41 cents in the latest quarter. Quarterly revenue rose 16% to $817 million from $704 million. Operating income was $44 million versus $34 million. It said it expects fourth-quarter operating income to be "broadly in line" with the third quarter. For all of 2003, operating income is expected to be about 50% above the 2002 level but short of the 2001 record level. In 2004, it expects "a generally positive trading environment." CP Ships Ltd. said operating and administrative costs increased from a year earlier. The weaker U.S. dollar hurt costs despite hedging gains. " Continuing high fuel prices and more expensive ship charter renewals offset ship-network efficiencies achieved from the recently completed ship-replacement program and schedule restructuring." It said volume of 554,00 TEU was up 6% from last year, or up 11% excluding the Asia-Europe services, which were discontinued in April. The company said operating income was up slightly in the Transatlantic market, down in the Australasian market and up strongly in the Latin American and Asian markets.

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