August 19 - AP MOLLER-Maersk has reported a more than satisfactory turnaround for the first half of 2010, after losses in 2009.
"The first half of 2010 has been very satisfactory for the Group, and we expect a full year profit in excess of USD 4 billion. The container market has improved beyond our expectations, and our own efforts to improve competitiveness are paying off. However, we still view the development in the global economy as uncertain, and this may affect us from the last quarter of 2010," says CEO Nils S Andersen.
Profit for the first half of this year amounted to USD2.5 billion, compared with a loss USD0.5 billion in the same period of 2009. Revenue for the period increased by 20 percent, primarily as a result of higher freight rates and volumes for the Group's container shipping activities as well as higher oil prices.
The interim report says that freight rates and volumes for the Group's container shipping activities have been surprisingly positive, up 31 percent and 11 percent respectively on the same period of 2009. This has been attributed to stronger activity in global trade.
AP Moller-Maersk says it will continue to focus on reducing costs. Further cost-cutting initiatives aimed at paring USD500 million have been introduced during 2010. The group has benefited from the sale of its interests in several companies, while others are due to be completed later in the year.
The announcement says that the group's container shipping and related activities are expected to post a positive result at similar levels to the first half of the year, but APM remains cautious with uncertainty for especially the fourth quarter.
Overall expectations for the AP Moller-Maersk Group are that the result for 2010 will exceed USD 4 billion but the outlook for 2010 remains subject to considerable uncertainty, "not least due to developments in the global economy. Specific uncertainties relate to the container freight rates, transported volumes, the US dollar exchange rate and oil prices."