Maersk profit soars nearly six-fold for 2020

A Maersk container ship is guided by a tug boat in New York Harbor in New York City, June 27, 2018. — Reuters pic
A Maersk container ship is guided by a tug boat in New York Harbor in New York City, June 27, 2018. — Reuters pic

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COPENHAGEN, Feb 10 — Danish shipping giant AP Moller-Maersk today posted a near six-fold increase in net profit for 2020, as demand during the coronavirus pandemic rebounded strongly from an initial slump, sending freight rates soaring.

A shortage of available containers in Asia during the pandemic has led to a surge in freight rates.

For the full-year 2020, Maersk recorded a net profit of US$2.9 billion (RM11.7 billion) in its ongoing operations.

Revenue grew 2.2 per cent to US$39.7 billion, slightly more than analysts’ estimates which ranged between US$39.56 and US$39.58 billion. 

Gross operating profit, EBITDA, increased by 44 per cent to US$8.23 billion, thanks to reduced costs and optimisation of the supply chain.

The transport sector has recovered faster than other parts of the world economy as restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic have weighed more heavily on the consumption of services than on goods.

At the end of 2020, global container volumes were higher than at the end of 2019, the Danish freight behemoth noted. 

“We are today a profitable, growing logistics company with a broad offering of ocean and air transportation,” chief executive Soren Skou said.

Since the sale of its oil division to France’s Total in 2017, Maersk has undertaken a major restructuring to refocus on transport and logistics.

Maersk aims to become carbon neutral by 2050 and reported a drop of over 40 per cent in emissions for the year as a whole. 

The company operates in 130 countries and employs some 80,000 people worldwide. — AFP

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