Sri Lankaâ€™s Mercantile Shipping losses widen in December quarter
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lankan ship owner Mercantile Shipping Company’s December 2015 quarter loss rose 56 percent to 24 million rupees from a year ago with the ship charter market still depressed owing to a global oversupply of tonnage.
December quarter sales were almost stagnant at 148 million rupees, interim results filed with the stock exchange showed.
The company, owned by Germany’s Reederei Eugen Friederich Gmbh in which Hemas Holdings has a 17 percent stake, reported a quarterly loss per share of 8.34 rupees.
In the nine months to 31 December 2015, earnings per share were 32.24 rupees against a 28.99 rupee loss the year before.
Mercantile Shipping made a profit of 92 million rupees in the nine month period with other income of 133 million rupees although sales fell nine percent to 401 million rupees.
The other income for the nine months period includes 45 million rupees on a claim made in 2009 against the charterer of M/V "Safmarine Soyo" and an exchange gain of 87.7 million rupees on loan conversions.
The company’s fully own subsidiary, Mercantile Emerald Shipping (Pvt) Ltd., changed its functional currency from euro to the US dollar on a euro loan in July 2015 as its charter hire income and loan liabilities are in dollars while most expenses are in dollars.