Neptune Orient Lines, the Singapore-based shipping and logistics group, has confirmed reports that it is considering selling its logistics business.
The business, APL Logistics, was the group’s star performer in the first half of 2014 with EBIT rising 23 per cent to US$32m on sales up three per cent to $802m.
In contrast the liner shipping business saw sales fall three per cent to $3.6bn. A loss at the EBIT level of $112m was a 16 per cent improvement on the year before.
In a statement, the group said: “NOL wishes to state that it continually evaluates all available options to improve the strategic positioning and performance of its business. These include considerations of a potential sale or initial public offering and listing of its logistics business as a separate, stand-alone unit from NOL.
“These considerations are preliminary and exploratory in nature. There is no assurance that any definitive transaction of the sale or an IPO of NOL logistics business will be concluded.”
The group said that in the second quarter of 2014, revenue growth across all regions delivered improved results for APL Logistics. “A recovery in the North American automotive sector after a slow first quarter further hampered by severe weather conditions, helped propel its business. At the same time, APL Logistics experienced stable business demand in emerging markets and in Europe. The company’s continued focus on cost discipline also contributed to its operating performance.”
APL Logistics president Beat Simon said: “At the year-on-year level, APL Logistics made improvements in key performance matrices in the second quarter of this year. We also experienced business growth across all regions.
“Our strategy to seek growth opportunities in selected industry verticals and attractive markets is on track. We will make further investments in sales and operational capabilities to enhance the delivery of quality service to our customers.”