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October 19, 2010

Profits up at NOL

Singapore based container shipping giant Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) today reported group net earnings of US$282 million for the third quarter of 2010, a US$421 million turnaround from the US$139 million net loss in the third quarter of 2009.

NOL said revenue in the third quarter improved 55 percent to US$2.4 billion.

The Group has now reported net earnings of US$283 million through three quarters of 2010. It lost US$530 million during the same period last year.

"Strong demand and an improved rate environment have helped us turn around our performance," said Group CEO Ronald D. Widdows. "Our emphasis at this point is on operating efficiency and cost containment to ensure that we maintain our momentum."

Third quarter revenue for APL, NOL's liner shipping business, improved 60 percent to US$2.2 billion. For the first three quarters, revenue was up 51 percent to US$5.9 billion.

Third quarter volume for the shipping business increased 12 percent. Through three quarters, volume was up 29 percent.

"Volume and rates improved across most of our major trade lanes, and our ships were full," said APL President Eng Aik Meng. "At the same time, we were well-prepared with vessel capacity and container equipment to meet our customer commitments."

APL Logistics, NOL Group's supply chain management business, reported third quarter revenue of US$302 million, up 30 percent from a year ago. Through three quarters of 2010, revenue improved 31 percent to US$880 million.

"Volumes increased in most of our business lines and freight rates improved in International Logistics," said APL Logistics President Jim McAdam. "The result has been a continuation of the revenue growth we've realized throughout 2010, indicating a return to pre-economic downturn levels."


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