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ZIM notches record Q3 net profit while Maersk records stunning EBITDA margin of 25.4%

Proof of the extraordinary fortunes liner shipping is enjoying of late was delivered today with stunning Q3 results from Maersk and ZIM.

The Israeli carrier, ZIM, notched up a record net profit of $144.4m in the three-month period, while Maersk’s Ocean division stunned with a an EBITDA margin of 25.4%, something virtually unheard of in the history of container shipping.

“A stronger-than-expected recovery in demand, following the slowdown of Q2 led to the reactivation of all available tonnage as well as significantly higher prices in the short-term market. This, combined with our continued profitability focus, helped us deliver a very strong quarter in Ocean,” Søren Skou, CEO of A.P. Moller – Maersk, commented today.

The Danish group’s net profit more than doubled to $1.043bn in Q3 on the back of soaring freight rates. It achieved the huge jump in profits despite registering a volume decline of 3.6%.

“Maersk appears to have focused on profitability and filling the vessels and foregone some marketshare,” commented Lars Jensen from SeaIntelligence Consulting on today’s Maersk results.

Meanwhile, in Tel Aviv, ZIM’s year-on-year net profit improvement for Q3 stood at 2,818%, sending the line into record territory. ZIM’s EBITDA margin beat even Maersk’s, clocking in at 25.9%.

Eli Glickman, ZIM president and CEO, commented: “ZIM’s outstanding results in the third quarter represent a new all-time record.”

Commenting on today’s stellar liner results, Andy Lane from Singapore’s CTI Consultancy, told Splash: “All planets were aligned, full ships, low fuel costs and record rates. I think also that Q4 will likely be similar, and let’s see if the bull-run lasts through Lunar New Year.”

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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