Maersk says shipping boom will stabilise in H2, revises up profit guidance

COPENHAGEN, April 26 (Reuters) – Transport group Maersk (MAERSKb.CO), typically seen as a barometer for international commerce, on Tuesday cautioned the container market could normalize within the second half of the yr, even because it raised full-year steering pushed by excessive container freight charges.

The transport trade has seen file earnings in current quarters as a surge in client demand, pandemic-related bottlenecks in U.S. and Chinese language ports and extra just lately an airspace closure following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine prompted a spike in freight charges.

However the forecast from Maersk, one of many world’s largest container shippers with a market share of round 17%, in response to intelligence supplier Alphaliner, is more likely to be seen as a detrimental signal for the worldwide financial system.

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Maersk mentioned in a buying and selling replace on Tuesday that container volumes declined 7% between January and March. The corporate now expects development in international container demand to sluggish this yr to between minus 1% and plus 1%, in comparison with its earlier expectation of 2-4% development.

Swiss logistics group Kuehne & Nagel (KNIN.S) on Tuesday additionally reported a dip in container volumes within the first three months of the yr.

Maersk revised its steering for the total yr upwards, with underlying earnings earlier than curiosity, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) anticipated to be about $30 billion in comparison with $24 billion beforehand anticipated and $28.7 billion forecast by analysts in a ballot gathered by the corporate.

The steering was based mostly on an “assumption of normalization in ocean transport early within the second half of 2022”, it mentioned.

Shares in Maersk traded as a lot as 8.3% larger at opening and have been 6.3% up at 0800 GMT. Shares have misplaced round one-fifth of their worth since an all-time excessive in January.

“I nonetheless count on buyers to be cautious as a result of threat of a U.S. recession in 2023,” mentioned Nordnet analyst Per Hansen.

Maersk reported income within the first three months of the yr at $19.3 billion, with underlying EBITDA at $9.2 billion, larger than analyst expectations of $19.0 billion and $8.4 billion, respectively.

The outcomes have been pushed by container freight charges that rose by a median 71% within the first quarter in comparison with a yr earlier, the corporate mentioned.

“The robust result’s pushed by the continuation of the distinctive market scenario inside ocean (transport),” Maersk mentioned in a buying and selling assertion.

Maersk is because of publish full first-quarter outcomes on Could 4.

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Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen; Enhancing by Jan Harvey and David Evans

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