Home » Breaking News, Maritime » Hapag-Lloyd reports significantly improved Q1 earnings

Hamburg-based Hapag-Lloyd announced that its first-quarter 2019 financial performance is a significant improvement over the same period last year, citing an increase in volumes and higher freight rates for the enhanced results.

In a statement, the German container shipping liner said operating profit in the quarter reviewed was significantly higher as earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) increased to EUR214 million (US$243 million) from EUR51 million EBIT in the same quarter the preceding year.

Group net result increased to EUR96 million, a reversal from a loss of EUR34 million in Q1 2018. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose to EUR489 million (Q1 2018: EUR216 million), also impacted by the first-time application of the reporting standard IFRS 16.

“Thanks to higher transport volumes, better freight rates and a stronger US dollar, we achieved a good result and got the year off to a very decent start,” said Rolf Habben Jansen, chief executive officer of Hapag-Lloyd.

Revenues in the first quarter increased by 17% to EUR3.1 billion, up from EUR2.6 billion from a year ago.

Total transport volume rose 2% to 2,929 TEUs from 2,861 TEUs last year. The average freight rate improved to $1,079 per TEU from the previous $1,029 per TEU. Hapag-Lloyd said the result was also positively influenced by a stronger average exchange rate for the US dollar.

In contrast, higher bunker prices of $425 per tonne had a negative impact on the quarterly result, the price up from $372 per tonne in the same period last year.

Looking ahead, Jansen said they are cautiously optimistic about 2019 despite slightly dampened forecasts for global economic growth and higher fuel prices.

“Q1 was in line with our expectations and we believe we can make further progress towards our strategic objectives throughout the rest of the year as we continue to roll-out and implement our Strategy 2023,” he added.

Photo courtesy of Hapag-Lloyd

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