MAERSK's standalone forwarder Damco declared a 42.8 per cent second quarter operating profit increase to US$10 million, drawn on revenues of $619 million, down 5.4 per cent.
Damco's first half profit was $12 million against a loss of $4 million in the corresponding period last year. This year's first half profit was drawn from revenues of $1.21 million, which fell nine per cent year one year.
Damco was the only Maersk Group unit to increase profit in a second quarter where the Danish shipping and energy giant's net profit plunged by 90 per cent.
The Dutch unit attributed the strong second-quarter performance to "cost saving initiatives, improved processes and operational efficiencies".
Damco did well against its European rivals, the world's leading logistics companies. Swiss giant Kuehne + Nagel increased ocean traffic 5.8 per cent and air cargo by 2.9 per cent in the first half, and Germany's Deutsche Post DHL experienced container volume edge 3.1 per cent higher while air cargo slipped 4.7 per cent.
Damco's continued recovery likely will strengthen market speculation that Maersk will look to sell the company as part of an ongoing strategic review as it seeks to cope with a deepening container shipping recession and low oil prices that are hitting its core operations, said IHS Media.
DSV, the Danish trucking and logistics company, is tipped as the most likely bidder even as it races to integrate UTi, the US freight forwarder it acquired for $1.35 billion in January, catapulting it into fourth place in the global forwarding league.
CEO Jens Bjorn Andersen said fresh acquisitions are on the company's agenda when he announced a record profit of DKK900 million (US$134 million) for the second quarter.
"We have a proven track record when it comes to acquisitions and it is still likely that the board and management will discuss next steps before the end of the year," he said.
Source : HKSG.