The A.P. Moller-Maersk Group saw 2011 revenue increase 7% to US$60.2 billion from $56.09 billion year-on-year due to higher oil prices and container volumes but offset by lower container freight rates.
In a media statement, the group said profit reached $3.4 billion from $5.0 billion, down 33% and in accordance with previously announced outlook of $3.1 billion-3.5 billion.
While the 2012 outlook is uncertain due to developments in the global economy, the group expects positive results albeit lower than those posted in 2011.
“We delivered an acceptable result for 2011 considering how the shipping rates developed during the year. Markets are volatile, but our businesses are fundamentally strong and competitive… 2012 will be another challenging year and we will continue to focus on profitability and allocate our growth investments to terminals and oil-related business,” said group CFO Trond Westlie.
The liner business posted a loss of $0.6 billion, a departure from the profit of $2.6 billion registered in 2010. The negative result was primarily due to low rates on the Asia–Europe trades. Freight rates started at a reasonable level in 2011 but decreased throughout the year as large amounts of new tonnage were delivered. Overall, freight rates were 8% lower than in 2010 and this, combined with 35% higher bunker prices, reduced margins considerably.
The number of containers carried grew 11% to 8.1 million forty-foot equivalent units.
The liner business expects negative results in 2012 as a consequence of excess capacity. Global demand for seaborne containers is expected to increase 4-6% in 2012, lower on the Asia–Europe trades but supported by higher growth in the North-South trades.
APM Terminals saw a $649-million profit last year, down from 2010’a $793 million. But excluding sales gains and impairment losses, profit was 24% higher than in 2010. Container throughput jumped 8% year-on-year. The high investment level from previous years continued, and during 2011 APM Terminals secured further new investments and development projects primarily in emerging markets.
APM Terminals 2012 results are expected to be above 2011’s. The company said it expects to grow more than the market supported by volumes from new terminals.
Damco continued growing and adjusting its business portfolio. With the acquisition of
NTS International Transport Services in China, Damco increased its service offerings within the airfreight market. Profit for 2011 was $65 million from $44 million.
Cash flow from operating activities was $7.3 billion from $10.1 billion in 2010 while cash flow used for capital expenditure reached $9.8 billion from $4.6 billion.