SM Line, an affiliate of SM Group's container shipping arm, announced on March 14 that it would expand its business by opening new routes. SM Line is planning to continue its upward trend following improved performance of its U.S. route in the second half of last year.
It set its goal of making annual surplus this year after the reversal to a surplus in the second half of last year. Starting with the eastern U.S. line in 2020, it is planning to actively seek to open new routes in the Middle East and Europe.
On the rumor that it would merge with Hyundai Merchant Marine, Kim Chil-bong, vice chairman of SM Group's shipping division, said, "There is no plan to integrate or merge with Hyundai Merchant Marine.
In a message to executives and employees on March 13, Kim said, "The rumor on the merger is happening at a time when all executives and employees are striving to continue the upward trend since the second half of last year. It is not helping not only SM but also Hyundai Merchant Marine."
Vice Chairman Kim said, "This year will be a very important year for SM Line to establish its status as a regular ocean liner in Korea."