STX Pan Ocean Co remains deep in red, with Q3 net loss of nearly half billion dollars

There is still no light at the end of the tunnel for STX Pan Ocean Co.

The beleaguered bulk carrier reported a third quarter net loss of US$399.1 million (S$498.9 million), widening from a loss of US$88.6 million in the same period last year.

Year to date, the group has chalked up a net loss of US$490.7 million, up from US$276.8 million.

Revenue for the three months to Sept 30 fell by a thumping 80 per cent to US$237.7 million.

Cost of sales, on the other hand, amounted to US$295.4 million. This meant that the group was already starring at a loss beginning from the gross level.

The fall in sales was mainly due to a decrease in its fleet of ships.

Loss per share for the first nine months worsened to US$2.39 from US$1.35 previously while net asset value per share slumped to US$5.71 compared to US$8.12 as at Dec 31.

Despite the dismal showing, STX is seeing flashes of light in the future.

It reckons that oversupply in the dry bulk trade is likely to be relieved, thanks to shrinking new deliveries of ships and firm scrap demand on older ships stimulated by stricter environmental regulations and high fuel costs.

"In terms of demand, solid increase in demand for iron ore and coal is expected as China's economic growth still remains above mid 7 per cent level, although it is slower-than-expected, and coal prices were stabilised at a low level.

"Considering these factors, there is a possibility that the dry bulk market will recover earlier than the analysts expected," it concluded.

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