Royal P&O Nedlloyd has returned from a USD51-million operating loss last year to post an operating profit of USD121 million for the first half of this year.
The company said increasing volumes and freight rates helped lift net profit to USD81 million in the 2004 first half, from a loss of USD78 million in the corresponding period last year.
"The continuing improvement in our financial performance at this half-year stage has allowed us to revise our internal expectations for the full year,'' CEO Philip Green said.
"Subject to any unforeseen change in the economic environment, we expect container shipping to achieve at least USD325 million profit before interest and tax this year.
"Foreseeable supply and demand trends in container shipping remain favourable."