China’s COSCO Group returns to profit in 2014

State-backed conglomerate announces profits after three years of losses, chairman Ma Zehua tells state media
China’s COSCO Group returns to profit in 2014

(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 ChinaCOSCO 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 percent year-on-year, said Xinhua without providing a figure, while COSCO's asset to liability ratio fell 4.4 percentage points to 55.4 percent at the end of 2014.

COSCO is now targeting annual profitability of between 4 and 5.5 percent 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 percent year-on-year to 193 million yuan ($30.99 million).

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by Tom Holmes

Marine Trader Editor

Tom Holmes is the Editor of Marine Trader and readmt.com, the official publications of the International Marine Purchasing Association (IMPA). To discuss news, features or contributing to Marine Trader please get in touch.

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