China Merchants Holdings, a unit of state-owned China Merchants Group, said its first-half net profit dipped 14% year-on-year due to continued weakness in the container shipping market, the Wall Street Journal reported. Net profit for the six-month period ending June declined to US$232.2 million from US$260 million a year earlier, and revenue fell 51%. The port operator said it will seek to improve profitability through better cost control, including managing investment spending and the pace of project development. The company’s chairman, Fu Yuning, also said there are signs that container operations are improving. Container throughput at China Holding’s terminals grew in 8% in August from July and 11% in July from June, he said. China Merchants is the largest container terminal in Shenzhen and has stakes in ports in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Qingdao, Ningbo and Zhangzhou.