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By Nam Kwang-sik
SEOUL, Nov. 10 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s top shipper HMM Co. said Wednesday its net income rose more than 90-fold in the third quarter from a year ago as freight rates continued to rise.
Net profit stood at 2.29 trillion won (US$1.9 billion) in the July-September period, compared with a net profit of 24.6 billion won a year earlier.
“Increased cargo rates pushed up sales, operating profit and net income,” HMM said in an emailed statement.
“Freight rates rose on all of HMM’s routes, including a route linking Asia and America, in the third quarter,” the company said.
Operating profit came to 2.27 trillion won, up more than eight times from an operating income of 277.1 billion won a year ago.
Third-quarter sales more than doubled to 4.01 trillion won.
In the first nine months of the year, the shipper posted a net profit of 2.66 trillion won, an operating income of 4.68 trillion won and sales of 9.35 trillion won.
Demands for container carriers usually are lower in the fourth quarter, but cargo rates on all routes are predicted to slightly rise during the period, HMM said.
Continued port delays in the United States and decreased production in China caused by an electricity shortage will have an impact on demands for container carriers in the fourth quarter, HMM said.
The company also said it will make efforts to secure cargo for about 20 container carriers, which have been put on its route to Europe.
HMM also said its debt ratio stood at 100 percent in the third quarter, compared with 455 percent at the end of 2020.
Debt ratio refers to a financial ratio that gauges the extent of a company’s leverage, which is defined as the percentage of total debt to total assets.