Like 2021, A.P. Møller – Mærsk is being forced to revise upwards its full-year earnings guidance. Unlike last year, however, the Danish carrier is warning container volumes could actually drop – another indication of the jittery state of the global economy, buffeted by war and high inflation.
In releasing its Q1 results today, Maersk, widely seen as a bellwether for the container shipping industry, upped its full-year EBITDA by 25% from $24bn to $30bn. Importantly for the overall container markets, Maersk also said today that based on volume developments in the first quarter, it had decided to revise downwards its outlook for the growth of global container demand from 2-4% to -1/+1%.
Maersk’s Q1 results saw revenues of $19.3bn, an underlying EBITDA of $9.2bn and an underlying EBIT of $7.9bn.
“The strong result is driven by the continuation of the exceptional market situation within Ocean, which has led to a 7% decline in volumes and an average 71% increase in freight rates compared to Q1 2021,” the company stated, predicting a similarly strong Q2 combined with higher contracted rates.
Despite the earnings bonanza, the drop in volumes seen in Q1 and projected for the full year will alarm many in container shipping, especially given the giant orderbook which will start delivering soon.
Clarksons data shows there are 861 boxships on order, with a combined capacity of 6.57m teu, equivalent to 26.4% of the extant fleet.