Bunker costs in the first quarter were $77 million higher than the same period a year ago, says Neptune Orient Lines (NOL). Net profits for the company fell by $75 million to $120 million in the first quarter of 2006, when compared with the first quarter of 2005.
“Our latest results show that we are performing well operationally and continuing to deliver value to our customs and returns for our shareholders,” said David Lim, NOL Group CEO. “But we are now in a more challenging operating environment,” he continued. While acknowledging the increased cost pressures exerted by fuel, Lim noted rates in some lanes had softened.
“Industry demand in the first quarter grew at a stronger pace than expected and, as a result, industry supply/demand has remained at a better balance than anticipated,” said Lim.
Revenue growth in the company’s logistics unit was strong at 10%, according to Lim.