Hapag-Lloyd’s earnings before interest taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) grew by 38.6% in 2020 to $3 billion, which it attributed to the measures it took at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement, the carrier said its earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rose to roughly $1.5 billion. The net result improved to around $1.1 billion, the main drivers being cost savings of more than $500 million, as well as slightly improved freight rates and lower bunker prices.
Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd, saidm “In 2020, our business was strongly influenced by the coronavirus pandemic. But we took early countermeasures on the cost side and successfully implemented our Performance Safeguarding Program.
“After transport volumes plummeted in the second quarter, we were able to benefit from unexpectedly strong demand for container transports in the second half of the year.
“Therefore, we have concluded the year with a much better result than that of 2019, and after the significant improvements achieved in previous years, we have been able to earn our cost of capital for the first time in a decade.”
Looking ahead, Hapag-Lloyd said it expects that the EBITDA and EBIT for the 2021 financial year to surpass the prior-year level.
This is based on the assumptions that the transport volume can be slightly increased and the average freight rate significantly increased compared to the previous year.
“2021 will also be dominated by the global coronavirus pandemic, and the current supply chain bottlenecks will presumably only abate significantly in the second half of the year,” Jansen commented.
“Thanks to continuing strong demand for consumer goods, we have gotten the current financial year off to a very positive start.
“However, the pandemic-related risks will remain for the time being, even if vaccination campaigns across the world hint at the first steps towards normalisation.
“Overall, we are sticking to our existing course: to offer our customers the best-possible service quality and to continue to grow profitably.”