Danish Shipper A.P. Moller-Maersk reports Q1 profit on higher oil prices, freight rates

By Jan M. Olsen, AP
Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Shipping group A.P. Moller-Maersk posts Q1 profit

COPENHAGEN — Danish container shipping and oil group A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S said Wednesday it returned to a profit in the first quarter thanks mainly to higher oil prices and increasing freight rates.

A.P. Moller-Maersk Group reported a net profit of 3.44 billion kroner ($587 million), against a loss of 2.13 billion in the first three months of 2009.

Revenue jumped 13 percent to 71 billion kroner ($12.12 billion) from 63 billion in the same period last year.

The Copenhagen-based accredited the rise in income to higher oil prices as well as increasing freight rates and volumes in the container activities.

A.P. Moller-Maersk shares jumped 9 percent to 48,680 kroner in Copenhagen.

The group said its key container shipping market has been boosted by strong demand in the quarter and now expects global cargo volumes to rise by at least 5 percent.

For the full year 2010, the shipper said it expects a positive result, based on “improved market conditions for the container shipping activities.”

Still, CEO Nils Smedegaard Andersen warned of some uncertainty going forward.

“Due to the development in the global economy, especially in the second half of the year, there is still uncertainty in how the volumes and the rates will develop the rest of the year,” he said.

The company, based in Copenhagen, employs 120,000 people in 130 countries.

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