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Maersk reports Q1 results in line with expectations despite Red Sea crisis

Maersk's first-quarter performance aligned with the company's expectations, reflecting a notable earnings rebound from Q4 2023.


The positive results were propelled by Terminals' solid performance and a confluence of factors including increased demand and the ongoing Red Sea crisis, according to the statement.


With these conditions anticipated to persist through the latter half of the year, Maersk has adjusted its guidance range, now anticipating underlying EBIT in the range of US$ -2 to 0 billion.


The Ocean segment experienced the impact of the Red Sea situation, facing elevated market rates and increased costs due to disruptions in the supply chain. Despite this, robust volumes, optimal capacity utilization, and ongoing cost control measures led to improved results compared to the previous quarter, noted the Danish ocean carrier.


Furthermore, Logistics & Services witnessed substantial volume growth, although margins were deemed unsatisfactory due to underutilization in certain warehouses and short-term challenges in implementing new customer contracts in the ground freight business in North America.


Additionally, Maersk continued its strategic portfolio optimization to prioritize end-to-end logistics, exemplified by the spin-off of Svitzer. The demerger, approved during an Extraordinary General Meeting on 26 April and finalized on 30 April, resulted in Svitzer Group A/S being listed on the Nasdaq Copenhagen.


The lower end of the original financial forecast has been adjusted upward due to robust market demand, leading to container volume growth trending towards the higher end of the 2.5-4.5% range, with A.P. Moller-Maersk expanding in tandem with the market. Additionally, the persistent Red Sea / Gulf of Aden situation is anticipated to extend into the latter part of the year. While oversupply remains a persistent challenge, its effects are expected to be delayed.


For the full-year 2024, A.P. Moller - Maersk raises its financial guidance as seen in the following table:


Vincent Clerc, CEO of Maersk, commented, "We had a positive start to the year with a first quarter developing precisely as we expected. Demand is trending towards the higher end of our market growth guidance and conditions in the Red Sea remain entrenched. This not only supported a recovery in the first quarter compared to the previous quarter, but also provide an improved outlook for the coming quarters, as we now expect these conditions to stay with us for most of the year."


He went on to add, "However, we still anticipate the high number of new vessels being delivered during this and next year to eventually offset these factors and put the ocean markets under renewed pressure. We therefore relentlessly continue to pursue our cost agenda with the aim of rolling back the disruption linked cost in Ocean and restoring margins in Logistics & Services. This work on cost, helped by our strong value proposition, is crucial in supporting our customers through the ongoing volatility and build a more resilient business."


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