Maersk Line made a profit of $204m in the first quarter of 2013 compared to a loss of $599m last year, mainly as a result of a determined effort to cut costs.
Container volumes were down four per cent but rates rose 4.7 per cent and revenue, at $6.3bn, was unchanged. Total cost per FFE fell by 7.1 per cent as a result of improved efficiencies.
The Maersk Group said it expected its full year result to be ahead of 2012 as a result of further unit cost reductions. It expects global demand for seaborne containers to rise by two to four per cent.