Danish freight Maersk doubles profits with freight prices up

Danish shipping giant Maersk said Wednesday its profits doubled in the second quarter as freight prices have soared due to persistent bottlenecks on trade routes.

Danish freight Maersk doubles profits with freight prices up
Signage at the Maersk offices in Copenhagen on July 30th. The shipping giant has again reported huge profits. Photo: Andrew Kelly/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

Demand for shipping plunged at the start of the Covid pandemic, but it has rebounded strongly since the second half of 2020, causing massive disruptions in supply chains.

Maersk, the world’s largest container shipping line along with Italy’s MSC, has posted robust profits since the second half of 2020.

Its net profit for the second quarter reached $8.6 billion, compared to $3.7 billion for the same period in 2021, up from record profits in the first quarter.

“We delivered an exceptionally strong result for the second quarter and consequently recorded the 15th quarter in a row with year-on-year earnings improvements,” Soren Skou, CEO of Maersk said in a statement.

The company’s revenue rose to $21.7 billion in the second quarter, up from $14.2 billion a year earlier.

The rise was “mainly driven by significantly higher freight rates” even as this was “slightly offset by a decrease in volumes and by higher costs related to bunker, handling and network”, Maersk said in its earnings statement.

“Landside congestion continues to be an issue around the world, with additional pressure from the Chinese lockdown,” it added, referring to China’s recent measures to contain Covid outbreaks.

On Tuesday, Maersk announced an updated guidance to its full year results, as a result of “the continuation of the exceptional market situation” within shipping.

Given the current market situation and despite withdrawing from Russia, the group said it expected earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation of around $37 billion, up from its April forecast of $30 billion.

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Copenhagen Airport returns good result but sees dark clouds ahead

Increasing travel activity gave Copenhagen Airport a pre-tax profit of 234 million kroner in the third quarter of 2022.11.08

Copenhagen Airport returns good result but sees dark clouds ahead

The Q3 profit represents the first time since 2019 that the airport has made a profit in the third quarter and shows that the company is emerging from a major crisis first brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, CEO Thomas Woldbye said in a statement.

“Even though energy crisis, war, inflation and the risk of Covid-19 variants is still creating uncertainty, our expectation is that the annual results will be a plus of around 125-225 million kroner,” Woldbye said in the statement.

The airport made a profit of 221 million kroner in the first nine months of this year before tax, lower than the result for Q3 alone.

“So it seems to be looking bright for air travel despite many dark clouds on the horizon. It’s going better but we are certainly not where we want to be yet,” Woldbye said.

Recent years have seen the Covid-19 pandemic in particular cause setbacks for the airport holding company.

The company – Københavns Lufthavne – made a loss of 1.5 billion kroner through 2020 and 2021 and borrowed 2.2 billion kroner to continue operations and make necessary investments, it said.