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Hapag-Lloyd Sees Net Profit Fall Two Thirds In First Half

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Hapag-Lloyd Sees Net Profit Fall Two Thirds In First Half

 

 

German container shipping company Hapag-Lloyd has reported a net profit of €2.9 billion for the first half of 2023, marking a 67% decrease from the previous year. Despite this decline, the company has maintained its full-year earnings forecasts.

In 2022, Hapag-Lloyd had achieved a profit of €8.7 billion, benefiting from a shipping industry boom during the post-pandemic economic recovery and logistical disruptions.

However, the current global economic deceleration and the resolution of supply bottlenecks have led to a drop in freight rates, affecting not only Hapag-Lloyd but also its competitors such as Maersk and CMA CGM. The company acknowledged the impact of “weaker demand and lower freight rates” on its earnings in a statement.

Transport volumes experienced a decline of 3.4%, reaching 5.8 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU). Concurrently, freight rates decreased by 38% to $1,761 per TEU. Partial relief came from reduced transport expenses, attributed mainly to lower prices for tanker fuel.

Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd AG, reflected on the challenging market environment, highlighting the successful expansion of their terminal portfolio and enhanced customer satisfaction through a focus on quality during the first half of the year. Jansen expressed commitment to continuing their strategic goals in the second half of the year, particularly focusing on their “Strategy 2030.”

The company has upheld its previously stated guidance for the full-year 2023 earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) to be within the range of €2 billion to €4 billion. EBITDA is expected to fall between €4 billion and €6 billion.

However, the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, geopolitical uncertainties, persistent inflation, and high inventory levels pose potential risks that could impact the accuracy of these forecasts.

Last week, A.P. Moller-Maersk projected a potential decline of up to 4% in global container trade volumes for the year.

This prediction is grounded in factors such as companies reducing inventories, coupled with concerns about higher interest rates and the risk of recession in Europe and the United States, which could dampen worldwide economic growth.

 

GSN

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