Danish box carrier Maersk Line made a profit of US$439 million in the second quarter of the year against $227 million for the same period in 2012, the significant improvement achieved through lower costs.
“The cost decrease was mainly driven by vessel network efficiencies and lower bunker price,” Nils S. Andersen, group CEO of A.P. Moller-Maersk, the parent company of Maersk Line, said in a written statement.
Volumes increased 2.1 percent, average freight rate decreased 13.1 percent, and the total cost per 40-foot-equivalent unit decreased by 12.7 percent. Total fleet capacity decreased by 0.9 percent.
“Maersk Line has made strong and consistent progress and is now an industry leader in terms of profitability,” Andersen said.
For the quarter, the group delivered a total profit of $856 million, down compared to $965 million year-over-year.
Group revenue decreased to $14.2 billion for the second quarter from $15.4 billion in the second quarter of 2012, primarily due to lower average container freight rates and lower oil entitlement production only partly offset by higher container volumes.
For its other divisions, A.P. Moller-Maersk’s APM Terminals made a profit of $179 million last quarter from $160 million in April-June 2012, while Maersk Drilling made a profit of $150 million for the period from $98 million last year. Maersk Oil saw a profit of $249 million, down from $468 million in the second quarter of a year ago.
For the whole of 2013, Maersk Line’s outlook has been revised from above 2012’s earnings of $461 million to “significantly above the 2012 result based primarily on continued strong cost performance and the stronger result for the first half of 2013 compared to last year,” the statement said.
Global demand for seaborne containers is expected to increase 2 percent to 3 percent in 2013, lower on the Asia-Europe trades but boosted by growing imports to high-growth markets.
Group profit for the year is expected to be around $3.3 billion from $4 billion last year. Excluding impairment losses and divestment gains, the net result is now expected to be around $3.5 billion versus 2012’s $2.9 billion.
“The outlook for 2013 is subject to considerable uncertainty, not least due to developments in the global economy,” the group statement said.