Thursday, May 12, 2011

MAERSK Line FIRST quarter profit UP 85%


Danish oil and shipping company A P Moller-Maersk reported an 85 percent rise in first-quarter net profit but reiterated it expects its 2011 bottom line to fall as container margins are squeezed, income from oil activities falls and exploration costs rise.

Maersk's first-quarter net profit rose to US$1.22 billion from $664.29 million a year earlier. Sales rose 11 percent to $15.28 billion from $13.71 billion.

Maersk, the world's largest container shipping company, also repeated it expects global demand for seaborne containers to grow by six to eight percent in 2011. Global tonnage is expected to match or grow more than freight volume, especially on Asia to Europe trade.

Freight rates, meanwhile, are expected to remain under pressure in the short term but strengthen in the second half of the year, Maersk said.

It said increased bunker and time charter costs are expected to continue to affect shipping margins negatively throughout 2011, and said its container shipping activities and its oil and gas business are seen generating full-year net results below those of 2010.

Maersk cautioned that the political unrest in North Africa and the Middle East has affected the oil price and may thus have a material impact on the company's results.

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