Maersk insists on $4billion profit for 2015
DESPITE oil price turbulence and falling container rates, Maersk Group has insisted on a forecast of a $4billion profit for 2015.
Group profit for the second quarter was $1billion, down from $2.3billion in quarter two 2014; revenues also fell from $11.9billion to $10.5billion.
At APM Terminals, profit for the quarter fell to $161million from $223million in quarter two 2014.
The main cause of the drop, according to a statement was falling revenues in markets dependent on oil, the weakening of some currencies against the United States dollar and divestments in 2014.
Also, weighted for ownership interest, handled volumes were down 6% to 9.2million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEU), or 3.5% in real terms when two terminals sold in 2014 are factored out.
The expectations for APM Terminals’ result in 2015 has fallen from below 2014’s $849million to “significantly below” the same figure.
Maersk Line reported a dip in profits as Asia-Europe box rates suffered from price competition, although the Group’s Chief Executive Officer, Nils Andersen believes this to be a temporary issue.
Maersk Drilling delivered a profit of $218million, up from $117million in the same quarter last year, despite three rigs being off-contract.
Fleet growth, cost saving measures and a $29million gain on the sale of drilling interests in Venezuela boosted results.
The business unit’s forecast result for 2015 was revised up to significantly higher than 2014’s $471million as more rigs are in operation, contract coverage is strong and an efficiency programme begins to show results.
According to reports, APM Shipping Services has also had its forecast revised up, on the back of a strong first half of the year for its businesses.
Maersk Supply Service reported a near-doubled profit of $64million as it booked a $31million gain on the sale of a vessel and $23million in cost savings.
Revenues were down by $19million due to lower rates, lower utilisation and divestments.
Maersk Tankers’ quarter two 2014 loss of $2million was reversed by a $35million profit in the second quarter. Revenue was down as the unit felt the loss of its VLCCs, but a strong product tanker market and 7% drop in vessel operating costs brought strong earnings.
Svitzer returned a profit of $32million, in line with last year, and improved its harbour towage margins despite strong competition and a weakened dry bulk market.
The group has embarked on a $1billion share buyback programme, which it intends to complete within 12 months.
“The turbulence in the oil price has had a negative influence in the oil and offshore markets and countries dependent on oil. This has changed the outlook for Maersk Oil, Maersk Drilling, APM Terminals and APM Shipping Services, where previously announced profit and growth targets will be replaced by plans adapting to the volatile environment,” said Andersen.