India’s Container Corp Q1 profit falls as costs rise, revenue slip

BENGALURU (Reuters) – State-owned Container Corporation of India reported a more than 17% fall in first-quarter profit on Thursday after costs increased and revenue fell.

The logistics operator posted consolidated net profit of 2.46 billion rupees ($29.8 million) in the three months ended June 30, compared with 2.97 billion rupees a year earlier.

Revenue from operations fell 3.6% to 19.22 billion rupees, with the export-import (EXIM) and domestic segments logging 5.3% and 0.3% declines, respectively. EXIM accounts for nearly two-thirds of the revenue.

Meanwhile, total expenses rose 1% to 16.85 billion rupees even as rail freight costs which account for nearly two-thirds of the expenses fell.

The New Delhi-based company had in July said it saw an almost 8% increase in the total volumes handled in the June quarter on growth in both domestic and international trading. The increased volume underscored the market share gains for the company, brokerage ICICI Securities said pointing to the data

In May, the company warned of pressure on margins as it sought to recover some of the lost market share. At the same time, it flagged a shortage in domestic containers as the pace of container manufacturing in India lagged behind expectations.

The company’s board also declared an interim dividend of two rupees per share for this fiscal year.

Meanwhile, the government is looking to sell its 31% stake in the logistics operator. Reuters had in April reported that the government plans to invite financial bids to privatise the company.

Shares of the company closed 1.8% lower at 696.55 rupees ahead of the results.

($1 = 82.6360 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Ashish Chandra in Bengaluru; Editing by Dhanya Ann Thoppil)