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Shipper on an even keel
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COSCO Shipping Co sailed to an 84 percent jump in net profit last year, pushing up its share price by the daily limit of 10 percent in Shanghai yesterday.


Net profit for the shipper, a specialized vessel arm of China's largest shipping group, rose to 1.07 billion yuan (US$147.9 million) in 2007, or 1.64 yuan per share, the Guangzhou-based company told the Shanghai Stock Exchange yesterday without giving details of earning sources.


"The net profit is higher than our estimate by 24 percent (growth) because of its higher-than-expected freight rates in the fourth quarter of last year and an 85-million-yuan income from ship-selling in the quarter," said Liang Yaowen, an analyst with China International Capital Co Ltd.


The company's revenue grew 38.29 percent from a year earlier to 5.33 billion yuan. Its share price rose 10 percent to 42.14 yuan.


Cosco Shipping had 85 ships in its fleet as of the end of June, with a total capacity of 1.38 million deadweight tons.


The shipper yesterday also announced that it has received regulatory approval to sell bonds to expand the fleet.


It will sell 1.05 billion yuan of convertible bonds to buy six ships. The four multipurpose vessels and two semi-submersibles, which are used to move oil rigs, have a combined capacity of 200,000 tons.


(Shanghai Daily January 25, 2008)


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