In the second quarter of 2018, A.P. Møller – Mærsk A/S showed progress in the strategic business transformation, reporting revenue growth at the same time as realising synergies through further business integration.
According to a statement released by the group on Friday, revenue grew 24% to USD9.5 billion across segments, 5.7% excluding the effect from Hamburg Süd. Revenue growth was seen in key areas such as Logistics & Services, which among others was positively affected by increase in service of customers supply chain management and in Gateway & Towage.
The Danish company also realised synergies from the integration of Hamburg Süd and from the increased collaboration across existing transport, logistics and ports businesses, contributing positively to the profitability.
“With revenue up 24% in Q2, we continued to deliver strong growth. The acquisition of Hamburg Süd of course was a positive contributor to growth in our Ocean segment, and we are pleased with the organic growth in non-Ocean. We expect revenue of around USD 40bn in 2018, up almost 50% since 2016,” says Søren Skou, CEO of A.P. Møller – Mærsk A/S and continues.
“We also delivered a sharp improvement in unit cost in Ocean, after a Q1 that was negatively impacted by inflow of capacity from the acquisition of Hamburg-Süd and network issues. Profitability was significantly impacted by higher bunker prices in Q2 and remained at unsatisfactory levels. For the rest of the year we expect improvements in our profitability driven by lower unit cost and higher freight rates.”
Lower unit costs were mainly driven by a reduction in network costs in Ocean, comprising network changes and increase in loaded volume.
Furthermore, in Q2 the revenue in Ocean grew 25% to USD 7bn, 0.6% excluding Hamburg Süd, and volumes grew 26%, 4.3% excluding Hamburg Süd, which is in line with estimated market growth of around 4%.
As reported on 7 August 2018, the underlying profit after financial items and tax amounted to earnings before interests, tax, depreciations and amortisations (EBITDA) in A.P. Møller – Mærsk A/S of USD 883m was negatively impacted by increased bunker costs in Ocean. Combined with the development in freight rates and uncertainties related to trade tensions it led to an adjustment in the expectation for EBITDA for the full-year 2018 to reach in the range of USD 3.5 – 4.2bn.
The organic volume growth in Ocean for the full year is still expected slightly below the estimated average market growth of 2-4% for 2018. Further, guidance is maintained on gross capital expenditures (capex) around USD 3bn and a high cash conversion (cash flow from operations compared with EBITDA).
The guidance continues to be subject to uncertainties due to the current risk of further restrictions on global trade and other factors impacting container freight rates, bunker prices and rate of exchange.
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