Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Maersk Reports Q1 Profits And Container Shipping Up

Danish Giant Continues To Do Well
Shipping News Feature

DENMARK – Moller-Maersk, the world’s largest shipping company, has reported that the group’s net profit for the January-April, 2011 period has increased by 82% to $1.2bn. The rise is attributed to higher container freight rates, container volumes and oil prices.

The group’s container activities made a profit of $438m, up from $169m for the Q1 last year. The number of containers carried increased by 5% to 1.84m Forty Foot Equivalent (FFE), while the average freight rate of USD 2,908 per FFE was 2% higher than the same period last year.

“We have had a good start to the year and are very satisfied with the results. Our businesses have performed very well, even as tanker rates have remained low and container rates have been decreasing during the period,” said the Group’s CEO Nils S. Andersen.

Moller-Maersk has also projected that the global demand for seaborne containers will grow by 6-8% in 2011, with freight rates expected to become stronger in the latter half of the year.

Though a very positive indication, the Group’s management has warned that they still expect end figures of 2011 to be below those for last year, though still satisfactory, as they anticipate margins on their container markets to be reduced while increased bunker and time charter costs are expected to continue to impact margins negatively.

Maersk also expressed concern over the political unrest in North Africa and the Middle East and states that any unpredictable affects on oil prices may further influence the end-of-year results.