SINGAPORE - Neptune Orient Lines, the world's seventh largest container shipping firm, reported on Wednesday better-than-expected fourth-quarter net profit, reversing from a loss the previous year as freight rates and cargo volumes soared.
NOL, around two-third owned by Temasek Holdings, posted fourth quarter net profit of US$177 million compared to a loss of US$211 million a year ago. Its results beat the average analyst estimate of US$121.9 million according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
For the whole of 2010, NOL made a net profit of US$461 million compared with a loss of US$741 million in 2009.
The global shipping industry suffered its worst downturn in history in 2009 as the recession hit global trade and forced many companies to lay up ships and cut jobs.
NOL said that 'notwithstanding the improved performance for 2010, market conditions are uncertain'. -- REUTERS
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