Maersk Reports Higher Earnings for Q1
Danish container shipping and logistics giant AP Moller – Maersk has closed the first quarter of 2019 with a 33% increase in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) to USD 1.2bn while revenue grew by 2.5% to USD 9.5bn compared to Q1 2018. Operating cash flow improved significantly to USD 1.5bn and free cash flow was USD 3.5bn, including sale of shares in Total S.A.
“We had a good start to 2019. In Q1, revenue grew by 2.5%, operating earnings improved by 33% and cash flow from operations doubled to USD 1.5bn. With a strong free cash flow of USD 3.5bn after the sale of the remaining shares in Total SA., we have significantly strengthened our balance sheet. Net interest-bearing debt has been reduced by USD 2.4bn since Q4 and by USD 7.1bn since Q1 2018,” says Søren Skou, CEO of A.P. Moller - Maersk.
Profitability in Ocean increased. EBITDA grew 42% to USD 927m compared to same period last year, mainly driven by a 3.9% increase in average loaded freight rates and an improvement in total operating cost of 2.8%. Revenue increased to USD 6.9bn despite lower volumes which declined 2.2%, impacted by the frontloading seen on the Pacific trades in Q4 2018 and weak demand on Latin America and Oceania trades.
Looking at terminal profitability, the opening of the Moin terminal, Costa Rica and positive underlying volume growth in gateway terminals had a positive impact on terminal profitability in Q1. Terminals & Towage reported an increase in revenue to USD 991m from USD 911m and in EBITDA to USD 267m from USD 244m compared to same quarter last year.
Logistics & Services reported a decrease in revenue in Q1 2019 by 0.5% to USD 1.4bn driven by lower air freight forwarding revenue. EBITDA increased to USD 51m from USD 45m in Q1 2018.