TROUBLED China Cosco Holdings is struggling to reverse its weak financial position following another third quarter loss that puts it dangerously close to a delisting under Shanghai Stock Exchange rules.
The shipping giant will accumulate three consecutive years of losses if it fails to return to profit in the 2013 financial year, meaning that it will face a delisting under Shanghai Stock Exchange regulations, notes Seatrade Global.
But Cosco narrowed its third quarter loss to CNY1.04 billion (US$170 million) compared with last year's net loss of CNY1.53 billion, drawn on revenues of CNY15.9 billion, which fell 20 per cent.
The improved third quarter results come through asset sales and efficiencies, despite China's largest shipping company having to face oversupply and weak demand ahead in the make or break fourth quarter.
The results follow a narrower first half net loss of CNY990 million, which came after it posted CNY3 billion gain from two asset sales. The company then announced plans to sell most stakes in office complexes to its state-run parent for CNY3.73 billion, the third asset sale this year.
The latest transaction gave the company CNY3.67 billion injection, which analysts say would likely be the final step to return it to a profit this year to stave off delisting.
Cosco said volume of cargo handled by its container shipping business in the third quarter was 2.3 million TEU, up 7.8 per cent year on year, but box revenue was down seven per cent to CNY11.4 million.
In the first nine months, Cosco handled 8.4 per cent more volume to 6.4 million TEU, 8.4, but revenue fell 3.5 per cent to CNY31.7 million.