Shipping Woes

Feb 20, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Mercantile Shipping Company said it made a net loss of 12 million rupees in the December 2011 quarter compared with a profit of 4.4 million a year ago. Mercantile Shipping Company, through a subsidiary, acquired two new ships in recent years and the accounts showed it provided for 131 million rupees as depreciation during the period.

The company’s sales fell 19 percent to 111 million rupees, a stock exchange filing said. It made a loss per share of 4.19 rupees in the quarter.

Mercantile Shipping Company made a loss per share of 12.14 rupees in the nine months to December 2011.

The company’s losses rose to 35 million rupees in the nine-month period from a loss of 4.3 million rupees the year before while sales fell five percent to 385 million rupees.

Shipping companies have been struggling with low freight rates in recent years.