COSCO Group returns to profit in 2014

Monday, 26 January 2015 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

BEIJING (Reuters): China Ocean Shipping Group Co (COSCO) returned to profit in 2014 after three years of losses, state media said on Saturday, citing an interview with the group’s chairman. The state-backed shipping conglomerate, which controls China COSCO Holdings Co Ltd, had a profit of 5.04 billion yuan ($ 809.26 million) last year, said Ma Zehua, according to the official Xinhua news agency. Operating revenues were up 2% year-on-year, said Xinhua without providing a figure, while COSCO’s asset to liability ratio fell 4.4 percentage points to 55.4% at the end of 2014. COSCO is now targeting annual profitability of between 4 and 5.5% by 2020, said Xinhua. On Monday, the group said it had received a $ 1.75 billion loan from the Export-Import Bank of China with which to buy 53 new ships. These would include oil tankers, container ships and dry-bulk vessels, helping to replace 100 vessels COSCO had scrapped in the last two years. Last week, COSCO Shipping Co Ltd said its preliminary 2014 net profit was up 491.3% year-on-year to 193 million yuan ($ 30.99 million). ($ 1 = 6.2279 Chinese yuan renminbi)