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Maersk Line reports sharp drop in Q3 profit

Maersk Line reports sharp drop in Q3 profit
Maersk Line, the world’s biggest container line, has reported a sharp fall in third quarter profit amid poor market conditions with oversupply and low freight rates.

Profit for the quarter ended 30 September 2015 was registered at $264m, a considerable drop from $685m posted in the same period of 2014.

Third quarter revenue also fell by 14.9% year-on-year to $6.02bn due to an average freight rate decline of 19.3% to $2,163 per feu, where especially the key Europe trades were severely impacted.

Maersk Line, the container arm of Denmark’s AP Moller-Maersk, said global container demand is expected to have grown between 0.1% in third quarter this year compared to the previous corresponding period. The low growth is primarily due to weaker imports into Europe.

The third quarter results followed an earlier announcement by the carrier that it will cut 4,000 shoreside staff positions by 2017, and will not exercise options on eight newbuildings comprising of six 19,630 teu containerships and two 3,600 teu feeder vessels.

“As part of its effort to improve profitability, Maersk Line announced in November to reduce its network capacity and postpone investments in new capacity, while at the same time reduce operating costs by further simplifying processes and organisation,” Maersk Line said.

As at 30 September 2015, the Maersk Line fleet consisted of 282 owned vessels of 1.8m teu and 322 chartered vessels of 1.2m teu with a total capacity of 3m teu.