Japanese Shipping Companies in Troubled Waters

Pic: Mitsui O.S.K.

By Aiswarya Lakshmi

Though the challenging market conditions in the container shipping industry continued to add pressure to Japan's major shipping companies, turnaround seen as write-downs set to fizzle out, earnings forecasts upgraded, reports Nikkei.

Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line) reported the largest net loss for the nine-month period which amounted to JPY 226 billion ($ 1.98 billion) in the first nine months of fiscal year 2016 ended December 31.

Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line) concluded the nine-month period with a net loss of JPY 54.5 billion ($ 478.5 million) where as Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) has posted a massive loss of JPY 220bn ($2bn) for the first nine months of the 2016 financial year.

According to Reuters, NYK, the biggest of the three by sales, lowered its forecast for an operating loss for the year to March 31 to 17 billion yen ($149.87 million) from an earlier 25.5 billion yen deficit prediction.

Mitsui OSK trimmed its loss estimate by 7 billion yen to an 8 billion yen loss prediction, while Kawasaki Kisen now sees a full year operating deficit of 43 billion yen compared with a 44 billion yen loss forecast three months ago.

The three Japanese marine shippers each upgraded their earnings forecasts Tuesday (February 01, 2017) amid a recovery in rates, says Nikkei.

Nippon Yusen now expects to break even on a pretax basis for the year ending March 31 rather than incurring a 26 billion yen ($230 million) pretax loss as it projected earlier.

Mitsui O.S.K. looks to earn a pretax profit of 8 billion yen, reversing a forecast of a 3 billion yen loss, and Kawasaki Kisen sees a smaller pretax loss of 47 billion yen rather than 54 billion yen.

But the bottom lines are soft for the three companies. Nippon Yusen is booking an impairment charge in the marine resources development business, and Mitsui O.S.K. warned of a possible write-down on container vessels. These come in addition to the heavy impairment charges the companies recorded recently.

Jan 31, 2017

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