Profit up at A.P. Moller Maersk despite Covid impact on volumes

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A.P. Moller Maersk felt the benefit of its February acquisition of US warehousing and distribution specialist Performance Team during the second quarter of 2020, despite global falls in shipping volumes driven by the response to the global Covid-19 pandemic.

Turnover decreased by 6.5% to $9.0 billion (£6.8 billion), from $9.6 billion in Q2 2019, which Maersk said was mainly driven by a volume decrease of 16% in ocean and 14% in gateway terminals, but was partially offset by an increased freight rates and increased revenue per move in its terminals segment.

EBITDA increased across all segments and was up 25%  $1.7 billion ($1.4 billion in Q2 2019), primarily driven by its February acquisition of Performance Team, which more than doubled its warehousing and distribution activities in North America.

Søren Skou, chief executive at A.P. Moller – Maersk, said: “As expected, the second quarter was materially impacted by Covid-19 and our focus remained on protecting our employees from the virus, serving our customers by keeping our global network of ships sailing and our ports, warehouses and inland transportation networks operating, and helping the societies we are part of fight the virus.

“I am pleased that we despite the headwinds, continued our track record of improving earnings and free cash flow. Our operating earnings improved by 25%, marking the eight-consecutive quarter with year-on-year improvements, driven by strong cost performance across all our businesses, lower fuel prices and higher freight rates in ocean and increased profitability in logistics and services.”

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