SINGAPORE/HONG KONG, Oct 29 (Reuters) – Shanghai International Port Group Co Ltd, the operator of the world’s busiest container port, reported its first fall in quarterly net profit in over a year, providing evidence of China’s economic slowdown.
China, the world’s second largest economy, grew 6.9 percent in the third quarter, dipping below 7 percent for the first time since the global financial crisis due to cooling trade and investments.
Shanghai Port recorded a third quarter net profit of 1.4 billion yuan ($220.29 million), down 18.3 percent from the same period a year earlier, it said in a filing on the Shanghai stock exchange. That marked the first decline since the second quarter of 2014, Eikon data based on company data showed.
In the first nine months, Shanghai Port’s net profit dropped 3.3 percent to 4.5 billion yuan.
The port’s container throughput rose 4.5 percent to 35.29 million TEUs (twenty-foot-equivalent units) in 2014, putting it ahead of global rivals such as Singapore and South Korea’s Busan, as well as Shenzhen and Tianjin in China.
Smaller listed rivals across China saw similar trends in their financial results this week.
Ningbo Port Co Ltd, Beibuwan Port Co Ltd and Dalian Port PDA Co Ltd reported falls in net profit for the July-September period.
Tianjin Port Holdings Co Ltd was one of the few that bucked the trend by reporting a rise in third-quarter net profit, though this was a modest 6 percent.
Shanghai Port’s announcement came after China markets closed on Thursday.
The port’s Shanghai-listed shares ended 0.3 percent higher, slightly lagging the main Shanghai composite index’s 0.4 percent rise.
($1 = 6.3552 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Lee Chyen Yee in Singapore and Twinnie Siu in Hong Kong. Editing by Jane Merriman)
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