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Denmark: Maersk may break even

A.P. Moeller-Maersk fell the most in almost nine months in Copenhagen trading after saying its container line, the world’s largest, will at best break even this year, falling short of analyst estimates for a profit.

The container division will report a "negative up to neutral"  net result in 2012 as freight-rate increases will stick, the company said. That compares with a Feb. 27 forecast of a "negative" net result.

Global rates had dropped because the industry added too many ships in anticipation of an economic recovery, causing overcapacity. Container lines ended a price war in February after almost a year and began cutting capacity and raising rates to restore profitability. Maersk said today its first-quarter result was hurt by a 9 percent drop in freight rates and 31 percent higher fuel prices.

Maersk’s container division had a net loss of 3.4 billion kroner ($581 million) in the first three months of the year, compared with profit of 2.3 billion kroner a year earlier. Analysts surveyed by SME Direkt had predicted a loss of 2.37 billion kroner.

Parent company Maersk’s first-quarter net income rose to 6.15 billion kroner from 6.08 billion kroner a year earlier. That compared with an average estimate of 1.49 billion kroner in a Bloomberg survey of seven analysts. The company, Denmark’s biggest, said the result was helped by the settlement of an Algerian tax dispute, which added about $900 million in profit to its oil division.

www.bloomberg.com

Publication date: 5/16/2012


 


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