Matson profit improves on China, Guam trade

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Matson Inc., the largest shipping line to Hawaii, reports $15.6 million profit for the fourth quarter and $45.9 million for full year 2012.

Annual revenue was $3.98.3 million, up from $374.9 million in 2011, Matson said Thursday. The company was calved off from Alexander & Baldwin last summer and now trades as NYSE: MATX.

"Continued strong Guam volume and an improved rate environment in our expedited China services led to a solid fourth quarter," CEO Matt Cox said in a statement.

The China Express service will see lower rates this year as new capacity enters the market, but Hawaii business could improve as the Hawaii economy does, Cox said.

Matson hauled 35,100 containers to Hawaii in the fourth quarter, 100 more than a year earlier in the same period. Matson did 14,000 container volume to Guam and 6,500 on the China Express.

Automotive volume to Hawaii fell 900 to 18,800 on the timing of rental fleet renewals.

Matson's Guam trade improved dramatically after Horizon Lines quit the market. Horizon Lines is the second largest maritime shipper to Hawaii and a larger company overall because it also serves Alaska and Puerto Rico, markets not served by Matson.

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