Evergreen Marine Corp, the nation’s largest container shipping firm in terms of fleet size, on Tuesday reported a net profit of NT$17.16 billion (US$618 million) for last month, 14 times more than a year earlier due to rising freight rates.

The firm’s earnings per share were NT$2.91 last month, equivalent to about 41 percent of the NT$7.04 earnings per share it made in the first quarter.

Revenue increased 145 percent year-on-year to NT$34.4 billion, Evergreen said in a filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

Evergreen said that unprecedented increases in freight rates and improvements in operating expense controls enabled it to obtain a higher gross margin.

The Shanghai Containerized Freight Index, a barometer of sea freight rates, continued to rise last month, hitting 3,495 points at the end of the month, 3.8 times more than its 920 points a year earlier, data compiled by the Shanghai Shipping Exchange showed.

For Evergreen, revenue generated from the Asia-Europe route and the Asia-US route accounts for 65 percent of its total revenue, and shipping rates for the two major routes also increased significantly, the data showed.

Evergreen revealed its sales and profits at the request of the exchange, which has implemented a trading alert mechanism on highly volatile securities.

The shipping firm’s shares have soared 190 percent over the past 60 days and skyrocketed 280 percent over the past 90 days, the exchange said on its Web site.

The company’s shares yesterday rose 0.43 percent to close at NT$116, compared with NT$50 on April 9 and NT$38.05 on March 10, exchange data showed.

Evergreen was the most actively traded stock on the exchange yesterday with a turnover of NT$56 billion, accounting for 14 percent of the exchange’s total transaction of NT$398 billion, the data showed.

The robust freight rates also benefited freight forwarders such as T3EX Global Holdings Corp and Dimerco Express Group.

T3EX reported that sales rose 82 percent annually to NT$2.66 billion last month thanks to rising demand and high shipping rates, while Dimerco saw its revenue gain 4.5 percent to NT2.8 billion last month, as declining sales in the air forwarding business were offset by revenue increases in sea cargo forwarding operations.

Source: Taipei Times