South Korea's Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) (KS:11200) said that it had an increase in revenue and smaller operating loss in the third quarter of 2019 when compared to the same period last year.
The company noted that the increase in revenue came "despite the continued uncertainty of global trade and oversupplied market with weakening freight rates." It highlighted a 10% drop in the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index in the third quarter of 2019 when compared to the third quarter of 2018.
Revenue was up 1.5% to 1,447.7 billion won ($1.2 billion), while the operating loss was 46.6 billion won compared to a loss of 123.1 billion won in the third quarter of 2018.
"Although the fourth quarter is normally the traditional slack season for the container sector, an increase in volume is expected ahead of the early Chinese New Year in 2020," the company said. "However, global trade uncertainty will still persist due to the U.S.-China trade conflict, instability in the Middle East/Hong Kong and Brexit."
HMM said it is working to secure additional cargo in preparation for the delivery of 20 ultra-large container ships (ULCS) beginning next year. Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering and Samsung Heavy Industries are building HMM 12 ULCS, each with capacity for 23,000 TEUs, while Hyundai Heavy Industries is building eight ULCS, each with capacity for 15,000 TEUs.
HMM has announced that next April it will become the fourth member of THE Alliance, a space-sharing agreement with Hapag-Lloyd, Ocean Network Express (ONE) and Yang Ming currently as members. The four carriers have extended the space-sharing agreement through 2030 and HMM said being a member of THE Alliance will provide a "transition without service disruption and will offer reliable services with diversification of service routes" and improved cost structure.
HMM said it is focusing on providing "differentiated services based on customer-oriented solutions."