October 9 - National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri), reported a significant increase in third-quarter net profits this week.

A statement to the Saudi Arabian bourse revealed that the company's net profits for the three months to September 30 was SAR510.3 million (USD136.1 million), up from SAR84.85 million (USD22.63 million) in the same period a year earlier.

Bahri attributed the profits rise quarter versus quarter to a number of items including an increase in the company's very large crude carriers (VLCC) fleet after a merger with Vela Marine International Ltd.

An increase in the operating revenues and net income of its General Cargo Transportation division - which operates six new multipurpose ships on a regular liner schedule, connecting the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to major ports in the Gulf, Indian Sub-Continent, Mediterranean and North America - brought about by improvements in operating performance, also contributed, said the statement.