“Strong competition” causes $654m Hapag-Lloyd loss

“Strong competition” causes $654m Hapag-Lloyd loss

London: Container carrier Hapag-Lloyd has posted a net loss of €604m ($654m) for 2014, blaming “persistently strong competition”.

“We have our work cut out for us in the next 24 months,” chief executive Rolf Habben Jansen (pictured) said in a conference call with investors.

The operating loss was mostly caused by €127m ($138m) of impairment charges incurred by the carrier’s divestment of 16 older containerships. Transaction and restructuring fees cost the company a further €107m ($116m) in 2014.

Freight rates declined by an average of more than 3% over the year, decreasing over all five of Hapag-Lloyd’s five major trade lanes. Nevertheless, the company says it increased its transport volume in all trades.

The company says integrating Chilean container line CSAV’s shipping activities into Hapag-Lloyd will translate to “tangible relief” this year, as will the positive trend in oil and bunker prices.

“With equity of €4bn ($4.4bn) and a liquidity reserve of around €900m ($979m), we are in a good position among our competitors,” Habben Jansen stated in the Hamburg-based carrier’s financial report for 2014. “Overall, we expect a clearly positive operating result for 2015.”

 

Holly Birkett

Holly is Splash's Online Editor and correspondent for the UK and Mediterranean. She has been a maritime journalist since 2010, and has written for and edited several trade publications. She is currently studying for membership of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers. In 2013, Holly won the Seahorse Club's Social Media Journalist of the Year award. She is currently based in London.

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