February 9 - A.P. Møller-Mærsk's annual report for 2016 reveals a net loss of USD1.9 billion compared to a USD925 million profit in 2015.

Maersk Group ceo, Søren Skou, said: "2016 was a difficult year financially, with headwinds in all of our markets."

Skou added that the loss was largely impacted by post-tax impairments totalling USD2.7 billion in Maersk Drilling and Maersk Supply Service, "as a consequence of significant over-supply and reduced long-term demand expectations".

Maersk adds that despite significant cost optimisation initiatives, Maersk Drilling and Maersk Supply Service were severely impacted by continued large scale cost reductions and project cancellations in the oil industry and the large inflow of new capacity over the last years. 

Revenue, across all eight of A.P. Møller-Mærsk's businesses, dropped to USD35.5 billion (from USD40.3 billion in 2015), which the company claims is predominantly due to lower average container freight rates and lower oil prices.

According to A.P. Møller-Mærsk, its priorities for 2017 remain on integrating its transport and logistics businesses, reducing costs in APM Terminals and Damco, closing the Hamburg-Süd acquisition, as well as progressing the work on finding structural solutions for its oil and oil-related businesses. 

Skou expects the company to deliver an improvement in its underlying profit for 2017, aiming to exceed USD1 billion.