Maersk has announced its Q3, 2015 financial results, which show a delivered profit of US$778 million, which when compared with $1.5 billion a year prior represents a decline of nearly 50%.
Profits were negatively impacted by the lower oil price and lower average container freight rates, down 51% and 19% respectively compared to the same period in Q3, 2014. The return on invested capital was 7.6%.
The underlying profit was US$662 million, compared with US$1.3billion in Q4, 2014.
Nils S. Anderson, CEO of Maersk, said: “The Maersk group delivered an underlying profit of US$662 million Q3, 2015. The decline of nearly 50% compared to 2014 was primarily due to container freight rates deteriorating to a historically low level, especially in the later part of Q3, and profits in Maersk Oil being impacted by the lower oil price.
“The expected underlying result of around US$3.4bn for 2015 reflects good performance in very challenging oil and container shipping markets, where the continuous actions taken in all our business units to reduce the cost base will enable us to maintain our ability to pursue the opportunities arising in our industries.”
Mr Anderson added that its shipping arm Maersk Line will not be ordering vessels which are not needed to meet its growth ambition.
Soren Skou, CEO of Maersk Line previously said that he wanted to transform Maersk Line into a leaner and simpler business, by improving customer service digitally, as well as reducing network capacity and investments.
Maersk Line is currently the largest carrier globally, with a total capacity of more than three million TEU. It makes a port call every 15 minutes and calls at ports all over the world.