Hapag-Lloyd Credits UASC Merger for Big 2017 Gains


Hapag-Lloyd’s merger with United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) has secured a significantly higher operating result (EBIT) for the carrier’s 2017 figures.

The world’s fifth largest container shipping company said that an upturn in its report was caused by the positive development of worldwide trade volumes and a “slight recovery” of freight rates.

Based on the preliminary unaudited figures, earnings before interest, taxes, Hapag-Lloyd’s depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) climbed up to US$ 1.28 billion (€1,055 million) (2016: $738 million (€607 million)).

The operating result before interest and taxes (EBIT) increased significantly to $500 million (€411 million) (2016: $153 million (€126 million)) in 2017.

The EBITDA margin grew to 10.6% compared to 7.9% in 2016.

In the Q4 2017 EBITDA increased to $405 million (€333 million) (Q4 2016: $275 million (EUR 226 million)) and EBIT to $174 million (€143 million) (Q4 2016: $123 million (€101 million)).

Revenues increased to $12.17 billion (€10 billion) (2016: $9.37 billion (€7.7 billion)), also supported by an improved average freight rate in 2017 of 1,051 USD/TEU (2016: 1,036 USD/TEU).



At the same time, Hapag-Lloyd increased the transport volume significantly by 29.0% to 9.8 million TEU (2016: 7.6 million TEU).

Transport expenses also increased by 25.5% to $9.73 billion (€8 billion) (2016: $7.79 €6.4 billion), driven by the increase in transport volumes and a higher average bunker consumption price of USD 318/tonne (2016: USD 226/tonne).

The average exchange rate was at 1.13 USD/EUR compared to 1.10 USD/EUR in 2016.

As of 31 December 2017, Hapag-Lloyd had $6.1 billion (2016: €5.1 billion) in equity and a liquidity reserve (cash, cash equivalents and unused credit facilities) of $1.1 billion (2016: €0.8 billion).

The UASC merger drove equity development for Hapag-Lloyd, which also benefitted from a capital increase of $428 (€352 million) in October 2017.

Net debt amounted to $6.93 billion (€5.7 billion) (2016: $4.37 billion (€3.6 billion)).

Hapag-Lloyd said it would publish the final full year 2017 group financial statements and the annual report 2017 on 28 March 2018.

UASC and its subsidiaries have been incorporated into Hapag-Lloyd's consolidated financial statements since 24 May 2017 — the date of transfer of control.

Read more: As of 1 January 2018, 451 ultra-large containerships were operating in the global fleet, while another 129 were on order for delivery into 2020

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