Honk Kong shipping company Cosco Pacific has reported a decline in third quarter profits.

Net profit declined by 48.5% compared to the same quarter last year, following on from a decrease in net profit over the last nine months, which saw a drop of almost 40% up until 30 September.

The group’s terminal companies handled 11,653,203 TEUs in the third quarter, a decrease of 4.2% compared with the same quarter in 2008.

The group saw a decline of 2.4% in the management of the container fleet to 1,593,005 TEUs, compared to the corresponding period last year.

Cosco said it has been able to utilise 89.4% of the fleet in the third quarter, whereas the average for the nine months ended 30 September 2009 was 90%.