NOL Losses Near $335M

Tuesday, January 21, 2003
Neptune Orient Lines Limited (NOL) has revised the full year outlook for its 2002 financial results. “Our statement at the interim results in September that, although still recording a loss, we expected the second half of 2002 to be better than the first half remains correct at the operating level. However, exceptional items will significantly affect the overall bottom- line,” NOL Chairman Cheng Wai Keung said. Cheng said that exceptional items could amount to about $110 million. He said this reflected an impact of $8 million from industrial disruption last year on the West Coast of the United States; $14 million additional write-down of goodwill; restructuring and severance costs of $37 million; provision of $33 million relating to losses from the sale of subsidiaries either realized or pending, including write-down of software; and $18 million for diminution of asset values, including vessels. The exceptional items have a cash impact of $50 million with $60 million being non-cash in nature. “Our preliminary estimate of the results for the full year 2002 while worse than expected, is unlikely to exceed $335 million,” he said. Cheng emphasized that NOL has a strong asset base and positive operating cash flow. Cheng said the full year results for 2002 will be announced around end February 2003.

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