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Maersk Group establishes fifth core unit

Maersk Group establishes fifth core unit
Maersk Group has announced its plans to establish a fifth core business unit, "Services and Other Shipping" by the start of 2014.

The new business segment will be comprised of offshore support outfit Maersk Supply Service, Maersk Tankers, towage and salvage firm Svitzer, and supply chain managers and freight forwarders Damco.

By grouping the companies together and installing a new management structure, the group hopes to put the unit on a path of increased growth and profitability.

The fifth pillar will have its own ceo who will report to the group ceo and steer the unit towards its target of a net operating profit after tax of $500m by 2016.

The group plans to increase investment in Maersk Supply Service and keep investment in Maersk Tankers low until the market recovers. Maersk Tankers has recently sold off a number of its business units, including its 10-strong VLGC fleet to BW Group in May this year.

Earlier this month rumours spread that Maersk was considering a purchase of compatriots Torm. The whispers were met with scepticism, focusing on Torm's large debts and, interestingly given the recent announcement, the fact that Maersk Tankers was not one of the group's core business units. AP Moller-Maersk owns a fifth of Danske Bank, which in turn is Torm's second-largest shareholder with 11.5% of the company.