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Cosco Pacific Doubles Profit as Sea-Cargo Rebounds

Cosco Pacific Ltd., Asia’s third-largest container-terminal operator, more than doubled quarterly profit because of a revival in world trade.

Net income climbed to $100 million in the third quarter from $40 million a year earlier, the Hong Kong-based company said in a statement to the city’s stock exchange today. Sales rose 29 percent to $107.5 million.

The company handled 23 percent more containers than a year earlier as U.S. and European consumer spending rebounded from last year’s global recession, stoking demand for Asian-made goods. U.S. holiday sales will likely rise 2.3 percent this year, led by purchases of clothes and electronics, according to the Washington-based National Retail Federation.

“We’re still seeing growth in demand,” said Kenny Tang, executive director at Redford Assets Management Ltd. in Hong Kong. “I remain positive about the shipping industry this year.”

Cosco Pacific moved 13.3 million 20-foot equivalent boxes in the third quarter. The company, controlled by China Cosco Holdings Co., owns or has stakes in more than 20 terminal operators, predominantly in China and Hong Kong. In the first nine months, total volumes rose 20 percent to 35.7 million. Overseas volumes jumped

The terminal operator rose 0.2 percent to HK$12.20 in Hong Kong trading today. Earnings were announced after the market close. The Hang Seng Index company has risen 24 percent this year, compared with a 5.9 percent gain for the benchmark index.

Cosco Pacific also has a stake in container-maker China International Marine Containers (Group) Co. and runs a box-leasing business. The company sold its stake in Cosco Logistic Co. to its parent last year.

Asia’s two largest container-terminal operators are Hutchison Port Holdings Ltd. and Singapore-based PSA International Pte.

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