Falling freight rates hit profits at Maersk

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Maersk has reported a 78 per cent fall in profit to $371m (£231m) in the third quarter despite a nine per cent rise in sales. It said both container and tanker activities faced difficult markets owing to excess supply of tonnage and a fragmented competitive landscape.

The group’s container activities transported 2.1m FFE – 16 per cent higher than last year. However, this was not enough to offset the impact from declining freight rates leading to a loss for the period of $297m (£185m). The profit last year was  $1,028m (£640m).

“The unsatisfactory market conditions are a challenge for the liner industry, however Maersk Line aims to achieve an EBIT-margin five per cent point above peers,” the group said.

“Maersk Line launched a new service concept on the Asia-Europe trade, ’Daily Maersk’, offering daily departures, fixed transport time and market leading reliability.”

Chief executive Nils Andersen, said: “We are heading for a fairly satisfactory result for 2011, in particular when you consider the very low rates in container shipping. The Group’s other core activities have performed very well, and we are confident about our strategy and investment plans.”


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