Transportation and logistics company Orient Overseas (International) Ltd (0316) yesterday said it made a US$137.66 million (HK$1.07 billion) net profit last year, reversing a loss a year earlier.
Chief financial officer Alan Tung Lieh-sing, son of former Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa, attributed the company's turnaround to industrial recovery and income that it derived from investments.
He said the group expects positive prospects ahead, as well as for other shipping firms.
The board did not recommend any dividend.
The younger Tung said OOIL's business to Europe tracked the recovery of that region's economy. The company saw a sharp increase in the volume of trade in that region, he said.
The group's wholly-owned subsidiary, Orient Overseas Container Line, reported a 3.6 percent year on year overall growth in cargo capacity, while growth in TransPacific capacity stood at 16.3 percent.
OOIL received delivery of six ships that can carry 21,413 twenty-foot equivalent units.
The vessels will provide OOIL with additional capacity and more efficient cost base, the company said in a statement.
Commenting on prospects of a US-instigated trade war, Tung said protectionism will bring a lot of harm to the shipping industry and OOIL will adjust its strategies accordingly in the event of such adverse development.
He also said that China COSCO Holdings' (1919) proposed acquisition of OOIL is expected to be completed by the middle of this year.
In July last year, the Chinese shipping giant offered to acquire all of the issued shares of OOIL in a deal worth HK$49.2 billion. The completion of the takeover will see state-owned Cosco Holdings becoming the world's third-largest container carrier after Denmark's Maersk Line and Swiss-based Mediterranean Shipping.
OOIL's share price yesterday closed 0.27 percent lower at HK$72.80.