ONE records $120m loss as average fuel price is $24 higher than expected

Boxship firm now predicting a $61 QoQ leap in marine fuel prices for the next three-month period.

The container vessel One Aquila, operated by Ocean Network Express (ONE). Image credit: Ocean Network Express (ONE)

Updated on 31 Jul 2018 09:12 GMT

Ocean Network Express (ONE) reports that it posted a first-quarter (Q1) net loss (after tax) of $120 million, which was said to be mainly due to higher-than-anticipated bunker prices and operational teething issues during the firm's start-up period.

The Japanese transportation firm - which is jointly owned by Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line), Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) and Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK Line) - said the average bunker price paid by its vessels between April and June was $407 per tonne.

As the business was established in July 2017, there is no data from the previous year for comparison, but in its three-year business plan for 2018-2020, released in April, ONE had forecast an average bunker price of $383 per tonne for each individual year - $24 below the mean fuel price later seen in Q1.

As a result, these figures have been revised upwards, with ONE now predicting a quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) jump in the average bunker price of $61, or 15.0 percent, to $468 per tonne in fiscal Q2, which runs between July and September.

For the first half (H1) and second half (H2) of the fiscal year, ONE is forecasting an average bunker price of $440 and $468 per tonne, respectively.

And ONE's full-year forecast is now $454 per tonne, which is $71, or 18.5 percent, higher than April's price prediction.

Despite the Q1 loss of $120m, ONE still expects to achieve a full-year net profit of $110m - as specified in the three-year business plan - but also envisages "higher bunker price[s] will have a negative impact".

The previous forecast of $3m net profit for H1 has been revised to a loss of around $38m (which would require a Q2 net profit of $82m to reach this target following the Q1 $120m loss), whilst the $107m net profit predicted for H2 has been revised upwards to $147m.