The state-owned Bangladesh Shipping Corporation (BSC) reported a 60% fall in net profit in first quarter of 2020-2021 fiscal year.
In this period, the shipping corporation made Tk8.84 crore net profit while its earnings per share stood at Tk0.58.
In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, the company incurred Tk14.05 crore loss due to countrywide 66-day general holidays declared by the government to curb the coronavirus pandemic.
An official of the company told The Business Standard that six new vessels have contributed to profit growth till 31 March of this year. But covid-19 pandemic drastically hit the country's economy since April this year. So, we failed to make profit in the last quarter of the last fiscal year.
"After withdrawal of coronavirus shutdown, recovery of economy is still slow fearing a second wave of coronavirus. Despite the fact, the company has come back from losing trend in the first quarter of this fiscal," he added.
Meanwhile, BSC has recommended a 10% cash dividend to its shareholders for 2019-20 fiscal year.
BSC had only one ship when the company was formed. But, during last two years, six new vessels have been added to its fleet.
"We are planning to add six more ships by 2021 which we hope would increase our profit even further," an officer of the company said.
He said the company will buy two mother bulk carriers with a capacity of 80,000 metric tonnes each, and 10 bulk carriers with a capacity of 10,000-15,000 metric tonnes each.
These vessels will transport imported coal for the Rampal, Payra and Matarbari power plants.
Since the capacity of Eastern Refinery Limited to refine crude oil would be doubled in the next few years, BSC intends to buy two more mother tanker vessels to meet this demand.
The corporation will also purchase two product oil tankers with a capacity of 80,000 metric tonnes each. The oil tankers will be used to transport imported diesel and jet fuel of Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation.
BSC was listed with Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) in 1977. Its paid-up capital is Tk152.53 crore.
Its share price fell by 19% in the last several days at the DSE due to low profit and dividend. The closing price of the shipping corporation's share was Tk38.30 each at DSE on Sunday.
The government holds 52.10% shares of the company while institutional investors own 13.09% and general public holds 34.81% shares.