Home » Breaking News, Maritime » ZIM closes 2011 with $397-M net loss

Zim Integrated Shipping Services ended 2011 in the red, reporting a net loss of US$397 million from a net profit of $54 million in 2010, as the Israel-based shipping line, like other global sea carriers, struggled with low freight rates and high oil prices.

In the fourth quarter of 2011, Zim recorded a net loss of $151 million from a net profit of $96 million in the comparable period the previous year, the company said in a news release.

“Despite the difficult market conditions in 2011, and thanks to the efficiency plan the company implemented in the past year, Zim finished 2011 with a positive cash flow from operations of $22 million,” the company added.

Zim recorded a 9 percent growth in container volume year-on-year, carrying 2.4 million containers in 2011 over 2.2 million in 2010. In the fourth quarter of 2011, Zim carried 626,000 containers compared to 566,000 in the last quarter of 2010, an increase of 10.5 percent.

Turnover in 2011 amounted to $3.8 billion against $3.7 billion in 2010, a 2 percent growth. In Q4 2011, the company recorded a turnover of $899 million compared to $976 million in the parallel period of the previous year, a reduction of 9 percent, mainly due to the drop in freight rates.

Last year, the box ship, the world’s 16th biggest, recorded an operating loss of $276 million compared with an operating profit of $223 million in 2010. The fourth quarter ended with an operating loss of $126 million, following an operating loss of $63 million in the third quarter of 2011.

Still, the company sees a positive trend for 2012, noting that “recovery is discernible in the market and is reflected in increasing freight rates [and] in the share prices of the liner companies, which have climbed significantly in the past few months.”

At the same time the shipping line said it has updated its long-term business plan, which has the approval of all relevant banks, to reflect current market conditions, but gave no further details.

Photo: Zim

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