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NOL narrows Q4 loss to US$75m amid ongoing industry weakness

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Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) narrowed its fourth-quarter loss to US$75.45 million as the shipping company cut costs amid ongoing weakness in the industry.

NEPTUNE Orient Lines (NOL) narrowed its fourth-quarter loss to US$75.45 million as the shipping company cut costs amid ongoing weakness in the industry.

Loss per share for the three months ended Dec 25, 2015 was about 2.91 US cents, compared to -3.29 US cents a year ago.

For the full year, NOL swung to a net profit of US$707.2 million, or 27.27 US cents per share, from a year-ago loss of US$259.8 million.

Revenue fell 28 per cent during the quarter to US$1.3 billion amid planned capacity cuts, void sailings, weak container trade demand and a challenging freight rate environment.

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But NOL also reduced cost of sales by 28 per cent to US$1.2 billion, while cutting operating expenses by 29 per cent to US$135.6 million.

The outlook remains subdued.

"Weak trade growth and overcapacity led to historically low freight rates in major trade lanes in Q4 2015," NOL stated. "Freight rates are expected to remain under pressure. The group will continue its focus on cost and operational efficiencies, as well as yield and network capacity management."

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