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Mercator Lines deeper in the red in Q3

MERCATOR Lines (Singapore), which specialises in dry bulk commodities shipping, recorded a net loss of US$7.47 million for the three months ended Dec 31, 2014, compared to a net loss of US$3.28 million the year before.

Over the same period, revenues plunged 43 per cent to US$13.26 million, mainly due to the "fall in spot rates, unscheduled repair for a vessel and new contracts at lower than the previous rates".

For the nine months ended Dec 31, 2014, net losses plunged further to US$20.88 million, while revenue tumbled 25 per cent to US$44.13 million.

Mercator acknowledged that the dry bulk shipping industry continues to remain volatile. Looking ahead, it expects the industry to remain challenging due to continued new delivery of vessels and slowdown in the Chinese economy.

"The weaker demand and continuation of new ship deliveries is expected to keep an 'oversupplied' situation going into 2015, which will continue to put downward pressure on freight rates," it said.

For the three months ended Dec 31, 2014, earnings per share stood at 0.5 US cents while net asset value per share was 21 US cents.

Before results announcement on Wednesday, Mercator's counter closed unchanged at 9.6 Singapore cents.