China COSCO Reports $243 Million Quarterly Loss, Still it’s Better than Last Year

china coscoSHANGHAI–China Cosco Holdings Co. (1919.HK), the country’s largest shipping company by fleet size, said Tuesday its third-quarter net loss narrowed due to increasing volumes for its container shipping business, but its core dry-bulk operations remain sluggish.

Government-controlled Cosco, whose businesses include container and dry-bulk shipping as well as port operations, reported a net loss of 1.53 billion yuan ($243 million) for the three-month period ending Sept. 30, down from CNY2.07 billion a year earlier.

Revenue rose 4.6% to CNY19.06 billion from CNY18.23 billion.

The international shipping industry, often seen as a barometer of the global economy’s health, has been hurt by Europe’s debt crisis and oversupply of shipping capacity.

The Baltic Exchange Dry Index, which tracks the cost of shipping raw materials and is widely considered a leading economic indicator, has fallen sharply in the past year.

As of June 30, the company had a dry-bulk fleet of 357 ships, including 130 ships chartered from other companies.

– Colum Murphy, (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company