Sea Containers Ltd., passenger transport operator
, marine container lessor and leisure industry investor, announced its results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2002. Net loss for the period was $6 million compared with a net profit of $0.9 million in the first quarter of 2001. The prior year period benefited from a $15.2 million gain on the sale of port assets. Revenue for the first quarter of 2002 was $272 million compared with $291 million in the prior year period. The prior year's revenue included the gain on sale of port assets.
The first quarter is the seasonally worst period of the year with many ferry services suspended, hotels closed for the winter and container demand at its lowest ebb due to factory closings and lower consumer demand following the Christmas season. The company's leisure division was exceptionally affected by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and major devaluations of the South African Rand and Brazilian Real.
James B. Sherwood, president, said that first quarter results would not be indicative of full year results. He noted that operating profits from passenger transport operations, the company's largest segment, were up $5 million over the first quarter of 2001 excluding the port assets sale. Earnings from the marine container leasing business after interest were $1.6 million better than in the year earlier period. In the leisure segment, represented by Orient-Express Hotels Ltd., the company's 60 percent owned subsidiary, RevPAR was down 12 percent compared with the prior year while in the fourth quarter of 2001 it was down 17 percent from the prior year, indicating good progress in recovery from September 11th.