Thursday, November 4, 2010

Matson Profits Surge on China Success

Ocean carrier Matson Navigation reported a 67 percent upswing in third quarter operating profit, citing "higher yields and improved cargo mix" in an earning statement released this week.

The Oakland, Calif.-based carrier reported operating profits of $40.4 million on $267.5 million in revenue for the third quarter. While the carrier's domestic cargo volumes were down or flat across the board, a 14 percent increase in revenue on the carrier's China routes buoyed the firm's earnings.

Hawaii container volume was down 2 percent in the third quarter, Hawaii automobile volume dipped 10 percent and Guam container volume remained flat compared to the third quarter in 2009.

According to the carrier, growth was “principally due to a $24.8 million increase resulting from higher yields and improved cargo mix, principally in the China trade.”
While primarily a Jones Act domestic carrier servicing Hawaii and Guam from the West Coast, Matson has seen recent success in its several trans-Pacific China routes.

Matson officials cited the commencement of a second South China route as a main reason behind a 29 percent increase in the carrier's China container volumes during the third quarter.

Matson's surging profits also contributed to a doubling of parent firm Alexander & Baldwin's net profit and a 20 percent rise in A&B's third quarter revenue.