AUGUST 14, 2012 — Maersk Group turned in what CEO Nils S. Andersen called "a fairly satisfactory" second quarter result that saw the Group deliver a profit of $1 billion.
"We are on the right track, said Mr. Anderson. "Container rates have been improved, Maersk Line is back in black figures and our other core growth businesses are executing well on strategy. We can still improve and will continue our strong focus on profitability to deliver a satisfactory full-year result. We also maintain our investments in long-term growth, not least in developing our many oil discoveries towards production."
Maersk Line's profit for the quarter was $227 million. Volumes increased by 11 percent to 2.2 million FFE and the average freight rate increased by 4.2 percent to $3,014 per FFE. Maersk Line implemented further rate increases on most trades during the quarter, backed by capacity reduction. A 10 percent increase in the bunker price was partly offset by an 8% reduction in bunker consumption per FFE. A restructuring of Maersk Line's Head Quartersfunction was conducted in order to strengthen Maersk Line's focus on customers and markets. The restructuring will reduce headcount by approximately 400 employees.
For the half year, Group revenue decreased slightly to $29.7 billion, primarily due to lower entitlement production and lower average freight rates partly offset by higher container volumes. Profit was 22 percent lower at $ 2.1billion, negatively affected by higher bunker costs and lower divestment gains.
For the half year, Maersk Line made a loss of $ 0.4 billion.
The Group is revising its expected result for full year 2012 upwards from slightly lower to slightly above the result for 2011 ($ 3.4 billion). Cash flow used for capital expenditure is expected to be lower than 2011 ($ 9.7 billion) while cash flow from operating activities is expected to be at the same level as 2011 ($7.3 billion).
Maersk Line now expects a modest positive result in 2012 based on higher average rates in the second half of the year. Global demand for seaborne containers is expected to increase by 4 percent in 2012, but with declining inbound European volumes.