Net income improved to US$1.45 billion in the first quarter from $27 million in the same period last year
EBITDA rose to $1.9 billion compared to $517 million year-on-year, while EBIT went up to $1.5 billion from $176 million
Average freight rate increased by about 38% to reach $1,509 per TEU
Transport volume fell 2.6% from the prior-year level
Hapag-Lloyd concluded the first quarter of 2021 with strong results, the trend now among container shipping lines.
The German container carrier said its group net result improved to around US$1.45 billion, a 1,423% increase from the $27 million profit reported in the same quarter of last year.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) amounted to roughly US$1.9 billion compared to $517 million year-on-year. Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rose to about $1.5 billion from just $176 million a year ago.
Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd, said the group benefitted from the high demand for container transport and better freight rates, especially in the spot market.
“On top of that, bunker prices have been lower than in 2020. As a result, we concluded the first quarter with a very positive financial result and look back overall on a solid start to the year,” he added.
Revenues increased in the first quarter of 2021 by around 33% to $4.9 billion from $3.6 billion, particularly due to a higher average freight rate, which increased by about 38% to reach $1,509 per twenty foot equivalent unit (TEU) from $1,094 per TEU in Q1 2020.
But transport volume declined by 2.6% to 3.0 million TEUs from some 3.1 million TEUs in the first quarter of 2020. The fall was attributed to “the demand-related congestion of port and hinterland infrastructures in many places as well as to a resulting shortage of freely available ships and containers.”
On the other hand, a 27% slide in average bunker consumption price had a positive impact on earnings.
Hapag-Lloyd expects the EBITDA and EBIT for the current 2021 financial year as a whole to “clearly surpass the prior-year level.”
While the positive earnings trend is likely to continue in the second quarter of 2021, a gradual normalization is currently expected in the second half of the year, it added.
Said Jansen: “While we remain optimistic for 2021 as a whole, the ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic and the congested supply chains continue to present a huge challenge to all market participants.”