Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Danish Container Shippers Bring Home The Bacon

Maersk Report Profits for 2010
Shipping News Feature

WORLDWIDE – A.P. Moller Maersk have released their full year figures for 2010 and they are very much in line with the anticipated levels forecast in November. Overall profit was $5 billion with the average freight rate for container traffic up 29% after dropping by 28% in 2009. This meant both box volumes and rates were around those of 2008. Unit costs (excluding bunker costs) were down $0.8 billion (4%) whereas profit jumped to $2.6 billion against last year’s $2.1 billion loss.

In other sectors Maersk’s freight trucking and container handling integrated into APM Terminals which turned a profit of $793 million, this area of activity saw improved productivity and strategic savings as with the container shipping activities whilst divesting itself of unwanted port terminals. APM is focusing on obviously emerging markets with developments in the pipeline in Santos and Monrovia.

Speaking of pipelines the group’s oil and gas activities generated a profit of $1.7 billion. This profit was positively affected by an increase in oil prices of 29%, to an average of $80 per barrel, and negatively affected by a continued declining production share, primarily in Qatar. Bulk rates remained depressed and Maersk Tankers lost $118 with further impairment losses of $111 million. The drilling sector made an impressive $399 million and investment in projects like the Maersk Peregrino demonstrated the group’s intentions.

With further interests in vessel salvage, Svitzer made $201 million, supply services and even supermarkets, the Danish giant’s CEO Nils S. Andersen’s optimism seems to be well founded. Andersen made special mention of the ‘truly great job’ done by staff in recovering from the dark times of 2009.

There is a note of caution however with capital expenditure expected to rise next year the container sector will be under pressure to maintain growth as newbuild tonnage may well exceed the growth in the box trade which Maersk foresee as being 6 to 8%.