HMM's net rises 4,200 percent to 5.33 trillion won in 2021
HMM's net profit rose 4,200 percent to 5.33 trillion won ($4.6 billion) in 2021 as shipping rates increased.
It's a record high, the shipper said, beating the market consensus of 4.8 trillion won compiled by FnGuide.
Annual revenue came in at 13.8 trillion won, up 115 percent. Operating profit jumped 652 percent to 7.4 trillion won, which is also an all-time high. Both exceeded the market expectations.
HMM, Korea's largest and the world's eighth-largest shipper, said increased freight charges for routes connecting Asia and America and Europe helped profitability.
"Fourth quarter is usually an off-season for the container shipping business, but increased loads for Asia-America routes, due to the major promotions like Black Friday, boosted the demand for shipping and drove up prices," the company said in Monday's release.
The Shanghai Containerized Freight Index, a barometer of ocean freight rates, jumped 137 percent from 2,129 points at the end of December 2020 to 5,046 points in the same period last year.
The shipper also credited increased container handling volumes. It added 20 mega-sized container ships last year, including twelve 24,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) ships with the help of the Korean government.
Uncertainty related to the U.S.-China conflict and Covid-19 are likely to continue in 2022, but it said it will try its best to improve profitability by getting more orders.
In June, HMM signed shipbuilding contracts with Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering and Hyundai Heavy Industries for twelve 13,000 TEU container vessels. The ships are expected to be delivered in the first half of 2024.
BY SARAH CHEA [firstname.lastname@example.org]