Shipbuilding and shipping group Cosco Corp Singapore sank into the red in the first quarter with a net loss of $14.4 million, reversing from a net profit of $766,000 in the same period a year earlier.
The fall was due mainly to losses in shipping operations as operating conditions continued to deteriorate, Cosco said in a statement yesterday.
Revenue in the three months ended March 31 fell 27 per cent from a year earlier to $722.3 million as both shipyard and dry bulk shipping revenues fell.
Revenue from shipyard operations dropped 27 per cent to $716.6 million on lower takings from the marine engineering and shipbuilding businesses, though this was partially offset by higher revenue from ship repair.
The group delivered six projects in the first quarter, comprising two oil tankers, a salvage lifting vessel, a livestock carrier, a platform supply vessel and a semi-submersible accommodation vessel.
Revenue from dry bulk shipping and other businesses fell 45 per cent to $5.7 million on lower charter rates.
AT A GLANCE
REVENUE: $722.3 million (-27%)
NET LOSS: $14.4 million (not meaningful)
First-quarter loss per share was was 0.64 cent, compared with earnings per share of 0.03 cent in the first quarter last year.
Net asset value per share stood at 34.71 cents as at March 31, from 36.71 cents as at Dec 31.
Cosco's order book stood at US$7.6 billion (S$10.3 billion) as at March 31, with progressive deliveries up to 2018.
In the first quarter, the group secured new orders for one trailing suction hopper dredger and one self-elevating workover unit.
The new contracts were secured at lower contract values due to the weak global economy and depressed shipbuilding and offshore markets, said the group.
"As these conditions continue to persist, the group expects operating margins on new shipbuilding and offshore contracts to continue facing severe downward pressure, notwithstanding any gains in our group's efficiency and productivity," it said.
Captain Wu Zi Heng, vice-chairman and president of Cosco, expects the shipbuilding and offshore market to remain depressed this year. He said: "Pressing forward, we must keep our fingers firmly on the pulse of the market, remain agile and leverage on our strengths and competitive advantages to tide through this difficult time."
The results were posted after trading hours. The counter closed half a cent or 1.49 per cent lower at 33 cents yesterday.