AP Moller-Maersk Group, owner of Maersk Line, the world's No 1 container shipping company, posted a 53 per cent year-on-year first quarter profit increase to US$1.2 billion, drawn on revenues of $11.7 billion, up one per cent.
Quarterly Maersk Line container profits rose 122 per cent to $454 million despite 5.1 per cent lower freight rates. The big gain was attributed to nine per cent unit costs, cheaper bunker and 7.3 per cent more volume to 2.2 million FEU.
"Maersk Line revises its expected result from being in line with 2013 ($1.5 billion) to being above the 2013 result, driven by improved operational performance and utilisation," said the company statement.
"Global demand is expected to grow four to five per cent and Maersk Line seeks to grow with the market. Pressure from excess capacity is expected to remain throughout the year," the statement said.
Maersk port operator, APM Terminals, posted a 29 per cent profit increase to $215 million, attributed to a nine per cent increase in throughput to 9.4 million TEU as new terminals become fully operational.
"APM Terminals expects results below 2013 ($528 million) due to planned yard stays and high costs associated with training and start-up operations of six new rigs," said the statement.
Said group CEO Nils Andersen: "The group delivered a satisfactory result for the first quarter. Net profit improved by all five business units except for Maersk Drilling, which delivered as expected in a quarter with two yard stays and intake of two new rigs.
"Maersk Oil continued production increase with Gryphon and El Merk returning to full production. APM Terminals increased volumes and Maersk Line was positively influenced by high utilisation and continued cost reductions," Mr Andersen said.
Source : HKSG.