Maersk shares rally despite profit warning

Investors surprised the market yesterday, backing Denmark’s largest shipping group despite a profit warning. Shares in AP Moller-Maersk rose as much as 6.9%, the most since December 2016, despite the company lowering its full-year outlook.

Citing the outlook for freight rates for the rest of the year and continued high bunker fuel prices, the Danish shipping giant cut its full year earnings before interests, tax, depreciations and amortisations (EBITDA) from $4bn – $5bn to $3.5bn – $4.2bn.

However, in the financial update CEO Søren Skou gave some hope suggesting freight rates have bottomed out.

“We delivered good progress in Q2 on revenue, volumes and unit cost across our business, and results improved from a weak Q1. Spot freight rates have restored after a significant drop in Q2, and volumes are growing in line with market. However, we continue to encounter very high bunker prices, which we have not been able to get fully compensated for in freight rates, leading to an adjustment in our expectations for the full-year 2018,” Skou said.

Maersk is due to publish its interim report on August 17.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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