South Korea's top container shipper HMM Co. said Friday its third-quarter earnings tumbled on sluggish shipping rates amid decreased cargo volume.
Net income amounted to 95.4 billion won ($72.3 million) in the July-September period, down 96 percent from a year earlier, the shipping company said in a regulatory filing.
Sales dipped 58 percent on-year to 2.1 trillion won, with operating income plunging 97 percent to 75.8 billion won.
In the first three quarters of this year, the company posted a top line of 6.3 trillion won with its net and operating profit reaching 705.7 billion won and 542.4 billion won, respectively.
HMM has remained in the black for 14 consecutive quarters, with its debt ratio dropping to 20 percent as of end-September from 26 percent at the end of 2022.
HMM attributed the nosedive in third-quarter profit largely to falling shipping rates.
The Shanghai Containerized Freight Index, a barometer of global freight rates, ranged from 886 to 1,043 in the third quarter, compared with a band of 1,922-4,203 a year earlier.
HMM said it will ramp up efforts to boost its profitability down the road by rationalizing shipping routes and tapping into new business areas.
Shares in HMM closed 0.98 percent higher at 16,550 won on the Seoul bourse Friday, outperforming the broader Korea Composite Stock Price Index's 0.72 percent fall. The third-quarter results were announced after the market closed.