SHANGHAI, April 8 (Reuters) – China’s COSCO Shipping Holdings said it would report a profit in the first-quarter, boosted by an improving market and cost savings from a recent merger.
The world’s fourth-largest container shipping line said in a stock market statement late on Friday that it expects to post a net profit of 260 million yuan ($37.7 million) for the three months to end-March.
The result would be up from a loss of 4.48 billion yuan during the first quarter of 2016, although year-on-year comparisons are difficult as COSCO became a new company last year through the merger of two major domestic shipping firms.
COSCO said it shipped 54 percent more cargo during the quarter than a year ago. The China Containerized Freight Index, which tracks freight rates from China to overseas ports, had risen 11.7 percent on a year ago, indicating overall sector recovery, it said.
The company last month flagged that it was seeing positive signals in demand after reporting a loss of 9.9 billion yuan for calendar 2016.
COSCO has been restructuring since its merger, selling some units at a loss and focusing on container shipping.
($1 = 6.8978 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Richard Pullin)
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