HONG KONG, Aug 24, 2023 – (ACN Newswire via SEAPRWire.com) – Chu Kong Shipping Enterprises (Group) Company Limited (“Chu Kong Shipping”, or the “Company”, together with its subsidiaries, the “Group”; Stock Code: 560.HK) is pleased to announce its interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2023 (the “Period”). During the Period, the complex and volatile market environment, coupled with weakened business demand, the Group’s cargo transportation business was affected to a certain extent. Nevertheless, benefiting from the orderly resumption of normal traveler clearance in Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao, a number of cross-border water passenger transport routes of the Group ushered in the resumption of service, while several long-awaited new routes were successfully launched, and the passenger transportation business has gradually recovered. The Group maintained a steady and robust development in its overall business operations.
In the first half of 2023, the Group recorded consolidated revenue of HK$1,233.1 million (1H 2022: HK$1,601.2 million). Profit for the period increased by 1.0% year on year to HK$62.3 million (1H 2022: HK$61.7 million), while profit attributable to the equity holders of the Company increased by 6.3% year on year to HK$58.4 million (1H 2022: HK$54.9 million).
Promoting the Upgrade of the Logistics Strategy and Achieving Steady Development in Cargo Transportation Business
The Group continued to optimise its strategic layout planning by fully leveraging the advantages of the terminals’ network within the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, facilitating the synergistic development of diversified businesses, achieving new breakthroughs in construction logistics, e-commerce, and air freight logistics businesses. During the Period, regarding the cargo transportation business, the container transportation volume recorded 646,000 TEU, representing a year-on-year increase of 0.2%. The break bulk cargoes transportation volume amounted to 202,000 tons, while the volume of container hauling and trucking recorded 90,000 TEU. As for the cargo handling business, the container handling volume recorded 527,000 TEU and the break bulk cargoes handling volume recorded 3,222,000 tons. During the Period, Chu Kong Transhipment & Logistics Company Limited (“CKTL”) adjusted its business strategy timely and reduced operating costs while developing diversified business actively and enhancing market competitiveness. Based on Tuen Mun Godown Wharf, CKTL expanded the area of climate-controlled warehouse at Tuen Mun warehouses, and continued to tap the transportation business for Modular Integrated Construction modules. CKTL also won the bid for a sand supply project for part of the Hong Kong International Airport Second Runway refurbishment project. Meanwhile, CKTL actively developed freight cargo business, successfully developed the cross-border railway-chartered transportation business, achieved growth in Southeast Asian routes, and actively prepared for the establishment of a logistics network in Vietnam. During the Period, each subsidiary strived to overcome multiple hurdles and adopted various measures to enhance income of cargo handling and storage business, resulting in a steady improvement in the operating efficiency of a number of regions.
Continuously Optimising Airport Strategy amid Recovery of Cross-border Passenger Transportation Business
The Group’s operation of the cross-border waterway passenger route has resumed in an orderly manner since 8 January 2023. Even though the cross-border passenger transportation business of the Group in the first half of the year increased significantly compared with the same period last year, there was still a gap as compared with the pre-pandemic level. During the Period, Chu Kong Passenger Transport Company Limited (“CKPT”) recorded total number of passengers for agency services and the number of passengers for terminal services of 647,000 and 423,000 respectively, representing year-on-year increase of 1,825.3% and 1,158.3%. During the Period, ten cross-border waterway passenger transportation routes commenced operation, including the three newly opened routes of “Shenzhen Airport Ferry Terminal-China Ferry Terminal”, “Guangzhou Pazhou-China Ferry Terminal” and “Guangzhou Pazhou-Hong Kong International Airport”. The Group continued to deepen cooperation with airlines, travel agencies and other industries, and strengthened business marketing and promotion to achieve an orderly recovery of cross-border passenger transportation business, with passenger load factor of some routes returning to pre-pandemic levels. CKPT,sticking around the airport strategy, continued to increase the layout of airport projects and extend businesses around the airport, gradually enhancing its competitive advantage.
Rapidly Expanding Local Business while Receiving Compliments on Services
Regarding local ferry services, along with the full resumption of people travelling between Hong Kong and China, the Group’s local ferry business recorded a total number of passengers of 6,333,000 during the Period, representing a year-on-year increase of 23.4%. Regarding the water cultural tourism business, the effect of market cultivation demonstrated in Oriental Pearl Cruise Company Limited through its ongoing product innovation and service optimisation. During the Period, a cumulative passenger flow of 21,000 passengers was recorded, representing a significant increase of 261.4% year-on-year. The cruise ship “Oriental Pearl” also accomplished a reception for senior officials of the Chinese government in a high-quality manner, which was awarded a letter of praise by the Hong Kong Development Bureau. As to the fuel supply business, Sun Kong Petroleum Company Limited continued to promote business transformation, and achieved “double growth” in both diesel and engine oil sales. Furthermore, it successfully won the bid for the HKSAR Government’s bunkering project, and successfully reached a cooperation of the lubricating oil supply chain agency project.
In the second half of the year, with the normalisation of cross-border passenger and cargo flows after the normal traveller clearance, the HKSAR Government will implement further measures to stimulate the local economy and improve people’s livelihood while enhancing Hong Kong’s competitiveness. Additionally, the comparative advantages of the Greater Bay Area will be fully utilised. The Group will firmly grasp the strategic opportunities brought by the National “14th Five-Year Plan”, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area development, as well as the “Belt and Road” initiative, build on the livelihood of the people in Hong Kong, integrate the resources in the Bay Area, plan for the layout of ASEAN, and promote the development of enterprises in a high-quality manner. The Group will promote high-quality enterprise development in the following areas:
Firstly, the Group will promote the integration of its main businesses and enhance operational and management capabilities. The Group will professionalise the cross-border waterway passenger transportation business across Guangdong-Hong Kong, and steadily promote the integrated operation of cross-border passenger transport. The Group will also enhance the local ferry and cultural tourism sectors in the long run, and build a professional passenger transport operation platform that is more resilient and synergistic. The Group will actively shape five platforms, namely port operation, integrated logistics, warehousing logistics, construction logistics and new business development, to enhance the coordination and synergy of internal and external logistics resources, strengthen the linkage between cargo terminals and navigation, consolidate the advantages of resources, and explore the market potential to build a more active and competitive professional logistics operation platform.
Secondly, the Group will build up its strategic advantages in logistics to enhance its market influence. The Group will utilise its advantages in professional construction logistics platform and actively participate in the construction projects of Hong Kong’s “Northern Metropolis” and “Kau Yi Chau Artificial Islands”, and vigorously expand the construction logistics and building materials supply businesses. To coordinate the layout of integrated storage centre, the Group will vigorously develop its modern logistics businesses including air freight logistics, supply chain logistics, cold chain logistics and duty-free product storage, facilitating its logistics business to extend into high-end industrial chain. Moreover, the Group will accelerate the establishment of logistics business network in the ASEAN region and capture emerging market share to create a profit growth driver under the “One Belt, One Road” initiative.
Thirdly, the Group will promote the transformation of its waterway passenger transportation to enhance the sustainability of the enterprise. The Group will strive to launch more high-quality routes by focusing on cultivating core routes including the expansion of Pazhou, Shenzhen, Zhongshan and other route networks. The Group will strive to integrate its business into the Hong Kong airport business circle, optimise airport passenger routes while actively bidding for more high-quality service projects of the Hong Kong International Airport. Moreover, the Group will improve the “sea-land-air intermodal” service chain continuously, and strive to become a comprehensive service provider for the Hong Kong International Airport.
Fourthly, the Group will strengthen the expansion of its local business to enhance its regional penetration. The Group will actively seize the opportunity of winning bunkering projects of the HKSAR Government and further expand the market share by providing high-quality bunkering services to the government. The Group will continue to explore the potential of the local ferry market, enhance its business control and industry influence and further consolidate its advantages in the ferry business. Moreover, the Group will deepen the cooperation between the cross-border passenger transport and fuel supply businesses, aiming to achieve cost reduction and efficiency enhancement as well as synergistic enhancement. The Group will focus on developing the “Oriental Pearl” Victoria Harbour Tour project by stepping up its efforts in brand promotion through multiple channels, enhancing the resources utilisation rate for the passenger transportation business of cultural tourism, and expanding business channels such as advertising and sponsoring campaigns, recurring consumption and value-added services, with a view to continuously strengthening the water cultural tourism industry.
About Chu Kong Shipping Enterprises (Group) Company Limited
Chu Kong Shipping is a listed company incorporated in Hong Kong held by Chu Kong Shipping Enterprises (Holdings) Company Limited and subject to Guangdong Provincial Port & Shipping Group Company Limited. Chu Kong Shipping operates and manages the largest high-speed passenger fleet and network of waterway passenger transport in Guangdong, Hong Kong Macau which is based in Hong Kong and covered cities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area namely Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Shunde, Zhongshan, Dongguan, Macau and so on. CKSG operates the local ferry services in Hong Kong, providing services on five main inner harbour and outlying island ferry routes, and developing the Victoria Harbour water cultural tourism projects simultaneously. Chu Kong Shipping is also one of the largest operators of inland terminal and logistics service in the PRD. Based in Hong Kong, Chu Kong Shipping builds up a network covering multiple cities in the PRD, including Zhaoqing, Qingyuan, Foshan, Guangzhou and Jiangmen etc., providing the operation of inland cargo terminals, integrated logistics, international forwarding and solutions to logistic supply chain and so on.
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