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Maersk says ‘exceptional’ market expected to continue, ups profit forecast

Photo: Marcus Hand maerskflag.jpg
AP Moller – Maersk has become the latest container line to raise its forecast for 2021 as it profits from strong demand resulting in supply chain bottlenecks and equipment shortages.

Maersk has raised its full year profit forecast to an EBITDA of $18bn-19.5bn, from $13bn - $15bn previously, with its EBIT forecast raised to $14bn - $15.5bn, compared to a previous forecast of $9bn - $11bn.

The Danish line raised its forecast saying, “the exceptional market situation still expected to continue at least until the end of the full-year 2021”.

In the second quarter 2021 the company said volumes had increased 15% year-on-year, while average rates were up some 59% on the same quarter in the previous year. Maersk reported a second quarter 2021 EBITDA of $5.1bn, and EBIT of $4.1bn.

“The strong quarterly performance is mainly driven by the continuation of the exceptional market situation with strong rebound in demand causing bottlenecks in the supply chains and equipment shortage,” Maersk said.

Looking ahead demand is expected to continue to grow in the second half of the year. “The outlook for the global market demand growth for the full-year 2021 has been revised up to 6-8% from previously 5-7%, primarily still driven by the export volumes out of China to the US.”

Maersk expects its third quarter 2021 earnings to exceed the second quarter.

HSBC predicted that Maersk's full year earnings forecast could rise yet further. Parash Jain, Head of Shipping and Ports Asia Transport Research noted that's Maersk' guidance implied a Q4 EBIT of $2.6bn, half that expected for Q3. HSBC upgraded its 2021 earnings guidance fro Maersk to $15.6bn, above the company's guidance.

Hapag-Lloyd is forecasting a profit of $9.2bn - $11.2bn for 2021, while ONE is forecasting a $6bn for the first half of the financial year ended 30 September 2021. The forecasts are similar to those made in recent days by competitors Hapag-Lloyd and Ocean Network Express (ONE).


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