September 27, 2023

The container ship Maersk Murcia sits moored within the port of Gothenburg, Sweden, on August 24, 2020.


Maersk, one of many world’s largest container delivery companies, on Wednesday reported a fall in fourth-quarter earnings however posted the very best full-year lead to its historical past.

The Danish large, broadly seen as a barometer for world commerce, mentioned its earnings earlier than curiosity, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) reached $6.5 billion within the fourth quarter, beneath a Refinitiv consensus analyst forecast of $6.77 billion and down from $8 billion for a similar quarter of 2021.

This took the full-year underlying EBITDA determine to $36.84 billion, fractionally beneath the corporate’s ahead steering of $37 billion however its strongest-ever full-year outcome.

Maersk skilled an “distinctive” 12 months in 2022 on the again of a continued rise in ocean freight charges, however flagged in its record-breaking third-quarter earnings report that these charges had peaked and a normalization would negatively impression earnings, with former CEO Søren Skou warning of “darkish clouds on the horizon.”

New CEO Vincent Clerc, who took the reins in the beginning of this 12 months, mentioned in a press release Wednesday that 2022 had been “exceptional in a couple of manner.”

“Whereas we report the very best monetary outcome within the historical past of the corporate, we have now additionally taken the partnerships with our clients to a brand new stage by supporting their provide chains finish to finish throughout extremely disruptive instances,” Clerc mentioned.

“As we enter a 12 months with difficult macro-outlook and new sorts of uncertainties for our clients, we’re decided to hurry up our enterprise transformation and enhance our operational excellence to grab the distinctive alternatives in entrance of us.”

International container market to develop between -2.5% and +0.5% in 2023

Fourth-quarter loaded volumes fell 14% on the 12 months whereas loaded freight charges decreased by 3.5% on the 12 months, main revenues to fall barely to $17.8 billion for the quarter.

Maersk additionally took a success of $511 million over the course of the 12 months from efforts to wind down its operations in Russia, with the final word intention of exiting the nation totally.

The corporate reported an elevated free money circulate of $6.5 billion within the fourth quarter of 2022 versus the earlier 12 months and issued a $685 million share buyback.

Maersk raised its dividend to 4,300 Danish krone ($620.33) per share from 2,500 DKK per share.

For 2023, Maersk expects underlying EBITDA to plummet to between $8 billion and $11 billion.

It mentioned the steering was based mostly on the “expectation that stock correction will probably be full by the tip of H1 resulting in a extra balanced demand atmosphere, that 2023 world GDP development stays muted, and that the worldwide ocean container market will develop in a variety of -2.5% to +0.5%.”

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