Strong Freight Rates Boost Evergreen Sales
By Kao Shih-ching / Staff Reporter
Buoyed by higher freight rates, Evergreen Marine Corp (長榮海運), the country’s largest container shipper, reported yesterday that revenue for the last quarter rose 89% from a year earlier to 170 billion NT dollars ($5.88 billion).
Even though the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI), which reflects spot freight rates on major routes on which Shanghai sits, fell in the first quarter to 4,540 points at the end of last month from 5,109 points at the beginning of January, the index was still much higher in the first quarter than in the previous year.
The container shipper reported revenue of NT$58.6 billion for the last month, up 84% year-on-year and the highest in a single month in the past 12 months, data showed. ‘business.
The strong performance was unsurprising, as the shipper told an investor conference last month that it expected strong revenue increases as average freight rates rose to around 3,000 USD in the first quarter, compared to less than NT$1,800 a year earlier.
Separately, Evergreen International Corp (長榮國際), a management unit of Evergreen Group (長榮集團), announced on Wednesday the appointment of Cheng Shen-chih (鄭深池) as its new chairman. Its previous president, Ko Lee-ching (柯麗卿), had completed her term.
Evergreen International, which is listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange, is not a major shareholder of Evergreen, but its Panama subsidiary Evergreen International SA is a major shareholder with 391 million shares of Evergreen Marine, according to data from the two. companies.
Chang Kuo-hua (張國華), a director of Evergreen Marine and Evergreen International, as well as the eldest son of Evergreen Group founder Chang Yung-fa (張榮發), criticized the appointment yesterday, the Liberty Times in language Chinese (the sister newspaper of the Taipei Times) reported.
Cheng is not as qualified as Ko and he does not own any shares in Evergreen International, Chang said in a statement.
Moreover, it was inappropriate and contrary to corporate governance principles for Cheng to say that as the new chairman he would provide a platform for the Chang family to settle their differences, Chang said.
Chang said he was ready to leave the group if his brothers were willing to buy out his shares in the companies, otherwise management disputes could continue to arise.
They could also consider disbanding Evergreen International and Panama Evergreen International and distributing the proceeds, which they could use to invest in companies they prefer, Chang said.
Chang added that he hoped he and his brothers could meet or designate lawyers to meet on their behalf for interviews.
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