Shipping line owner AP Moller-Maersk showed a loss for the first half of 2009 of £327 million ($540 million) compared to a profit of £1.5 billion ($2.5 billion) in 2008, after sales fell 25 per cent to £13.8 billion ($22.8 billion).
The group said the global economic crisis had a severe negative impact on its activities.
“Freight rates and volumes for the group’s container shipping activities were 30 per cent and seven per cent, respectively, below the same period of 2008, and average rates for the tanker activities were considerably lower than in the first half of 2008.”
The average crude oil price (Brent) was 52 per cent lower than in the first half of 2008. This had a negative impact on the oil and gas activities, which was partly offset by an eight per cent increase in the group’s share of oil and gas production. The group’s other business areas were also negatively affected by the global economic crisis, but to varying degrees.
The result for the second quarter was slightly better than announced, as the result, excluding impairment losses and write-downs of £121 million ($200 million), was positive by £20 million ($33 million).
It said that considerable cost savings have been achieved in the group’s business areas and group functions but the result for the second half of 2009 was expected to be at the same level as the first half year.