MIDF Re­search re­mains pos­i­tive on West­ports

New Straits Times - - Business -

KUALA LUMPUR: MIDF Re­search re­mains pos­i­tive on West­ports Hold­ings Bhd’s out­look de­spite its lower-than-ex­pected firstquar­ter re­sults, which rep­re­sent 20 per cent of the re­search house’s full-year fore­cast.

“Al­though there are var­i­ous challenges, there are still bright spots in West­ports’ out­look. It will likely han­dle a higher vol­ume of ad hoc con­tain­ers in the sec­ond quar­ter, aris­ing from re­align­ments by the new ship­ping al­liances.

“While Chi­nese ports are giv­ing dis­counts to en­tice al­liances to con­duct their re­align­ments there, we un­der­stand ports such as Shang­hai are cur­rently fac­ing se­vere con­ges­tion is­sues,” said MIDF Re­search.

“Op­er­at­ing costs, namely marine and diesel costs, would have likely peaked in the first quar­ter and trend lower in the com­ing quar­ters,” it added.

West­ports also told MIDF Re­search that it was see­ing a pickup in high-yield­ing laden gate­way cargo, un­der­pinned by stronger do­mes­tic con­sump­tion and ex­ter­nal trade.

West­ports recorded a first quar­ter core post-tax profit of RM151 mil­lion, de­clin­ing six per cent year-on-year and fall­ing short of MIDF Re­search’s ex­pec­ta­tions.

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