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Maersk group books $1.6bn Q1 profit in the face of falling revenues

Maersk group books $1.6bn Q1 profit in the face of falling revenues
The Maersk Group has reported a "very satisfactory" $1.6bn profit for the quarter, despite a 10% drop in revenues.

The results include $223m gain on the sale of shares in Danske Bank, with 85% ordered by AP Moller Holding, and 7% by other shareholders.

As the oil price dropped, Maersk Oil's profit fell from $346m in Q1 2014 to $208m in the first quarter of this year, and cash flow fell to $105m from $734m in Q1 2014. Lower price expectations for oil are informing cost-benefit analyses for the unit's future exploration activities.

Profit at APM Terminals was $190m, down from $215m in the same period last year. Currencies weakening against the US dollar affected results, with oil-dependent markets also returning lower revenues as the oil price slumped.

Maersk Line reached a record result for the first quarter, with a $714m profit.

APM Shipping Services, the business unit which includes Maersk Supply Service, Maersk Tankers and Svitzer, saw an increase in profit to $94m. Maersk Supply Service and Maersk Tankers both reported significantly improved profits, enough to counter a drop in profit at Svitzer and a loss at Damco.

“ In a quarter impacted both by low oil prices and low economic growth, the underlying profit increased by 18% to USD 1.3bn, mainly driven by Maersk Line, Maersk Drilling and APM Shipping Services," commented group ceo Nils Andersen. "All businesses affected by low oil prices launched cost initiatives to safeguard long term profits and competitiveness. Based on the performance in Q1, the Group now expects an underlying result of around USD 4bn for 2015.”