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Matson improved first-quarter profit

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COURTESY MATSON INC.
Matson Inc. said Wednesday it earned $19.1 million in the third quarter

Matson Inc. improved its first-quarter income, earning $9.1 million in the January-March period compared with $3.8 million in the same timeframe last year, the company announced today.

The Honolulu-based ocean cargo transportation firm said revenue rose to $394.7 million in the recent quarter from $366.1 million a year earlier.

Matt Cox, Matson president and chief executive officer, said increased Hawaii cargo volume and higher rates in the firm’s China service drove the profit gain.

The company also benefitted from reduced ship expenses by operating with nine ships in the recent quarter instead of 10 ships in the year-earlier quarter because repair work on a larger ship last year required use of two replacement ships.

"We had a good first quarter," Cox said in a conference call with stock analysts. "I feel we’re off to a good start for the year."

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