Revenues from April 1 to June 30 rose 8.59 per cent year-on-year to JPY379 billion from JPY349 billion recorded in the same quarter last year.
"We posted a loss for the first quarter despite rationalisation of vessel allocation and cost reduction. However, the loss at ordinary income was reduced not only year on year, but also against the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2011 (from January 1 to March 31, 2012)," said the company statement, adding that this indicates a move towards recovery of MOL's business performance.
For containership segment, though the loss was JPY2.4 billion, it showed a significant improvement for the world's 10 largest container carrier, from the quarterly loss of JPY5.4 billion last year, attributable to "improved supply-demand balance backed by a gradual recovery in cargo volume since the beginning of spring," and the successful freight rates increases, particularly on the Asia-Europe trade, according to the company statement.
Also, the carrier said the decrease of the loss year on year was also due to further efforts on cost reduction, including the wider enhancement of slow steaming, despite increases in bunker prices.
Overall, the carrier said it has concerns about the slowdown in the Chinese economy, which are added to "anxiety about Europe's prolonged sovereign debt problem".
Additionally, overcapacity is still a threat as a large number of newly built ships continue to be delivered into the market.
In response to the "worsening gap between fleet supply and cargo demand," the carrier said it has "pursued policies to confront the market, for example, forming tie-ups with other ocean shipping companies and reducing the number of ships in service."