I was looking forward to comparing the 1Q results of NOL (world’s 6th largest container shipping co) and Maersk’s container division (largest in the world) because as a holder of a few NOL shares (“peanuts” but gd yield) I was interested in seeing how ex-defence chief Ng Yat Chung (and ex-Temasek senior MD) would perform. Mr Ng took over as CEO on I January 2012. He was made made executive director in April 2011. The retired CEO, a shipping man thru and thru, is now an adviser to the CEO.
At the time I asked, “Wonder what relevant experience he brings to the shipping co? I can only think of the experience in a managing big complex organisation. But then I couldn’t think of any reason for his becoming a senior MD at Temasek.”
Well NOL, and Maersk’s container division both came out with unexpectedly very bad sets of results, showing that the container shipping industry is in worse shape than expected with a weak global economy, expensive fuel and plenty of capacity coming on-line.
But NOL’s numbers were still worse than Maersk despite its focus on moving stuff between East Asia and the the US. Maersk also moves a lot of stuff to from East Asia Europe, in addition to the US. As readers will know, the US economy has performed better than the European economies in 1Q 2012.
Maesrk’s revenue was up 7% to US$6.31bn, while NOL’s revenue fell 3% to US$2.38bn. As to losses, NOL lost US$254m, while Maersk lost US$537m. Simplisticly, if Maersk had NOL’s revenue, it would have lost US$203m, i.e. 20% lower. But then along the same lines, NOL shld have made money, not lose money (US$10m) in 1Q2011.
Whatever it is, having a scholar, ex-senior MD from Temasek, and retired general as CEO of NOL, is of no benefit whatsoever when it comes to shareholder value. SIGH.
Let’s hope it’s different in the cabinet, where we have as newbies one ex-admiral and one ex-general, both of whom are scholars.
Maybe relevant, related post?