Thursday, February 27, 2014

Financial and Sustainability Reports from Largest Container Shipping Line, Logistics and Oil Group

Maersk Releases Simultaneous Information on Results and Targets for Past and Future
Shipping News Feature

DENMARK – WORLDWIDE – When a group such as AP Moller-Maersk undertakes to commit to more sustainable operations, one is talking about doing so on a massive scale. Not only does the group contain the largest container shipping line in the world but has subsidiaries stretching from logistics, Damco, to oil research and recovery, terminal operations, towing and various other related fields. In 2010 the group produced its first Sustainability Report and this month published the second such document showing achievements, failures and aspirations to 2013.

Like its financial reports it is hardly worth publishing a few random facts and the report itself sums up the important issues in the first few pages, précising what most would want to know quite succinctly, with the option to study the fine print for any specific interest. The range covered is extensive, stretching from fatalities (four last year with an obvious target of zero) through CO2 production and even things such as anti-corruption training, perhaps particularly important as the company ventures into certain new markets.

The full Maersk Sustainability Report 2013 is available to read here and the company has chosen the same day to report on its financial position by publishing its 2013 Annual Report. Once again one can extract items from the figures and make of them what you will but Group CEO Nils S. Andersen spelt out his interpretation of the company’s performance thus:

"We have reason to be pleased with profit development in 2013. The Group reached $4 billion in underlying earnings; an increase of $1 billion from the previous year. Maersk Line strengthened profitability despite challenging shipping markets and both APM Terminals and Maersk Drilling had their best result to date. As expected, Maersk Oil's underlying profit was below last year due to decline in production and lower oil prices. However, production stabilised mid-year and increased towards the end of the year. Most of the Group's other businesses also improved results and in total six out of eight businesses came out of 2013 as top quartile performers in their industry.”

You can read the 158 page financial report in full here whilst there is a video here of Andersen’s outlook and opinions on all sectors of the business and his reasons for the issue of ‘bonus shares’ with which he aims to use to lower the overall share price so that more Maersk employees can own part of a company that currently trades at around $12,000 per share.