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Maersk Line volume dropped in Q3 after cyber attack

Danish container shipping giant Maersk Line reported a profit of USD 220 million in the third quarter of the year, a major rebound when compared to the loss of USD 116 million reported in the corresponding period last year.

The return to profit in Q3 was driven by the continuation of positive market fundamentals as container demand grew 5%.

In addition, Maersk Line’s average freight rate and revenue saw a 14% increase respectively compared to Q3 2016, with the company’s revenue reaching USD 6.1bn.

This is the second profitable quarter for the container carrier as Maersk Line announced its return to the black in the second quarter of the year, having posted a profit of USD 339 million, against a loss of USD 151 million in the second quarter of 2016.

“The development was mainly driven by a 14% increase in average freight rate to 2,063 USD/ FFE (1,811 USD/FFE) partly offset by a 2.5% decrease in volumes to 2,632k FFE (2,698k FFE). Volumes grew by 0.6% on headhaul, however more than offset by a decrease of 8.8% on backhaul,” the company said.

As disclosed, the freight rate increased across all trades compared to Q3 2016 as EastWest increased by 20%, North-South by 14% and Intra-regional by 7%.

The company felt the impact of the June cyber attack on its business performance in July and August, while contingencies related to recovery from the cyber-attack resulted in a negative development on volumes, utilisation and unit cost performance throughout the quarter.

The cyber attack resulted in a negative development in Maersk Line volumes of 2.5% and increase in unit cost of 3.9% at fixed bunker prices, as explained by CEO of A.P. Møller – Mærsk A/S, Søren Skou.

As explained, overall the company cannot be satisfied with the quarterly result, regardless of the heavy impact of the cyber attack, as the carrier is not happy with the development of volume growth.

Skou said that a better job can be done in the following quarters and that the company is making progress toward more sustainable earnings.

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