Mercator Lines (Singapore) sails deeper into the red

SINGAPORE - Mercator Lines (Singapore), an Indian-owned dry bulk shipping firm, posted a net loss of US$125.4 million (S$166.8 million), widening from a loss of US$23 million a year ago.

Revenue for the year ended March 31 fell 25 per cent to US$56.3 million, owing to a fall in spot and contract rates, as well as unscheduled repairs.

The firm said in a statement: "Falling commodity prices, an oversupply of new bulk carriers and weakening international demand have resulted in a considerable slowdown in global trade and downward pressure on freight rates."

Loss per share for the year was 9.2 US cents, down from a loss per share of 1.7 US cents a year ago.

Net asset value was 13 US cents as at March 31, down from 22 US cents a year ago.

Mr Shalabh Mittal, Mercator Singapore's chief executive, said: "The company continued to outperform the Baltic Panamax Index rates... the dry bulk shipping markets are indeed very challenging but given our track record and competitive strengths, the company is confident that it would ride over the current downturn in the industry."

Mercator Singapore shares closed down 0.1 cent at 3.9 cents on Friday.