Container shipping giant China Cosco Holdings achieved a significant improvement in its first-half profitability while presenting a rosy market outlook.

But the subsidiary of state conglomerate China Cosco Shipping was punished by stock investors after its board opted not to recommend any interim dividend.

Cosco Holdings’ shares dropped by 5.68% to CNY 20.7 ($3.20) in Shanghai and by 3.16% to HKD 14.7 ($1.89) in Hong Kong on Tuesday.

In its interim report, the company confirmed a huge jump in its net profits but did not explain the reason for the lack of payout.

Some observers had expected Cosco Holdings to resume dividend payments amid strong earnings prospects in the container shipping industry.

The company operates the world’s third-largest box shipping fleet via two subsidiaries, Cosco Shipping Lines and Orient Overseas Container Line, and owns terminal group Cosco Shipping Ports.

Cosco Holdings said its net profit reached CNY 37.1bn ($5.72bn) between January and June, in line with preliminary results. This was up from CNY 1.14bn in the first half of 2020.

Revenue jumped to CNY 139bn from CNY 74.1bn.

“In the first half of 2021, the global economy gradually recovered while showing a significant trend of differentiation and imbalance,” the company said.

“The global logistics supply chain was challenged and impacted by multiple factors such as port congestion, container shortage and inland transportation delay.”

Cosco Holdings recorded total shipping volume of 13.8m teu between January and June, representing an increase of 16.8% compared with the same period of last year.

Revenue per teu from international routes jumped to $1,717 from $937.

“The supply and demand relationship of the container shipping market was tightened, and the freight rates of main routes were faced with upward pressure,” the company said.

Looking forward, Cosco Holdings suggested demand for container shipping will remain strong in the coming months due to the recovering global economy.

“With the widespread vaccination to combat Covid-19, the pandemic has been gradually under control, which would in turn help to restore the global economy,” the company said.

“Meanwhile, [China’s] economy maintains its steady growth in the year and will be a strong impetus behind the global economic recovery as well as serve as a solid foundation for the healthy development of the global shipping market.”