Singapore's NOL Q4 loss widens on lower liner revenue, rates

SINGAPORE Thu Feb 20, 2014 4:44am EST

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SINGAPORE Feb 20 (Reuters) - Singapore's Neptune Orient Lines Ltd said on Thursday its net loss for the fourth quarter of 2013 widened 51 percent on the year on lower revenue from the liner business and freight rates.

The container shipping company, in which Singapore's sovereign investor Temasek Holdings (Private) Ltd owns a 67 percent stake, reported a net loss of $137.2 million for the quarter.

The company posted a net loss of $76.3 million for 2013, compared to a net loss of $412.5 million in 2012. The figure was better than a Thomson Reuters SmartEstimate consensus of a a $151.1 million loss.

Shipping companies have been struggling with weak demand and the pressure to order fuel-efficient large vessels to cut down on costs. NOL ordered ten 14,000-TEU(twenty-foot equivalent unit) ships in 2011, and took the delivery of the first of these megaships last March.

"Conditions in the liner industry are expected to remain challenging due to continued over-supply of capacity," the company said ina statement, adding that liner freight rates will remain under pressure.

NOL said it would focus on managing costs and operational efficiencies with the aim to improve financial performance in 2014. (Reporting by Rujun Shen; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)

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