$5 billion profit for container shipping giant

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Container giant AP Moller – Maersk has produced a profit for the year of US$5 billion, after a loss of $1bn in 2009.

The average freight rate for the group’s container activities increased by 29 per cent in 2010 after a decline of 28 per cent in 2009. Volumes were five per cent up on 2009, and freight rates as well as volumes were close to the 2008 level.

Unit costs excluding bunker costs declined by four per cent, corresponding to US$ 800m, whereas the profit was US$2.6bn (loss of US$2.1bn).

The group expects the global demand for seaborne containers to grow by six to eight per cent in 2011. The global supply of new tonnage is expected to match or grow more than the freight volume especially on the Asia to Europe trade. The Group’s container activities expect a satisfactory result, but below the 2010 result.

Damco, the group’s logistics division reported EBIT before restructuring and other one-off costs of US$85m compared to US$45m in 2009. The EBIT margin rose from 2.3 per cent to 3.2 per cent.

Chief executive Rolf Habben-Jansen said: “We are pleased with our result for 2010, having improved significantly for the second year in a row. We have continued to gain market share versus most of our main competitors while improving customer satisfaction and further strengthening our relative cost position.”

For the coming year Damco intends to continue to focus on organic growth, investing in specific industry segments, air freight and emerging markets.

[asset_ref id=”1110″]  Nils Andersen

Group chief executive Nils Andersen said: “Our people have done a truly great job. We have become more competitive and our improved service across the group has led to continued increases in customer satisfaction. We have increased our financial strength and are ready to make significant investments in our businesses.”

Earlier this week Maersk Line signed a contract for ten 18,000 teu container vessels – the largest known to be in operation, at 400 metres long, 59 metres wide and 73 metres tall.

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