Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Hapag-Lloyd improves it ground in first quarter

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Although its operating environment has remained challenging, Hapag-Lloyd finished the first quarter of this year in a much better position than last year.
According to a media release, the company posted a loss in what is traditionally the weakest quarter of the year for the liner shipping sector.
However, it halved its loss before interest and taxes compared with Q1 2012. Revenue came to EUR 1.65 billion in the first three months of 2013 – an increase of 3.1 percent on the same period of the previous year.
It was mainly attributable to a rise in the average freight rate, which was 4.2 percent up on the previous year at USD 1,546/TEU, the statement said.
Commenting on the published first quarter results, Mr Michael Behrendt, Chairman of the Executive Board of Hapag-Lloyd, said, “Liner shipping started 2013 on a higher level than in 2012. However, the competition remains extremely challenging. Rates have come under tangible pressure since April, especially on the important East-West routes, and competition is also becoming tougher on Latin America trades.”
“It is important that rates soon return to a sensible, profitable level. This is absolutely essential and in the interests of everyone who relies on a functioning, reliable maritime shipping industry – from shipping lines to shippers. We cannot afford a repeat of last year’s non-existent peak season.”
In addition, the transport volume edged up slightly to around 1.33 million TEU against the last year’s figure of 1.32 million TEU in the same period.
Hapag-Lloyd generated a positive EBITDA of EUR 24.0 million in the first quarter, which represents a considerable improvement on last year’s Q1 figure (EUR -21.1 million). The adjusted EBIT came to EUR -53.2 million. This meant that the Company almost halved its loss as against the first quarter of 2012 (EUR -99.5 million).
The result is in line with expectations for Q1, which is traditionally the weakest season for liner shipping because of the Chinese New Year celebrations, said the release.
The most important time of the year for the liner shipping industry is the peak season during the third quarter, when goods are shipped from Asia to Europe and North America for the run-up to Christmas.
During the first quarter of 2013, the Group net result improved by almost EUR 40 million compared to the prior year period, standing at EUR -93.6 million (prior year period: EUR -132.4 million).

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