Hapag-Lloyd’s Profits Jump


Hapag-Lloyd’s net profits for the first nine months of 2018 rose by 6.1% compared to 2017, thanks largely to an increase in transport volume.

Transport volume grew by 26.6% year-on-year (YoY) in the first nine months of 2018. 

The company attributed this to the inclusion of United Arab Shipping Company (UASC), which it bought in May 2017.

In a statement released alongside its nine month results, Hapag-Lloyd said the average freight rate per TEU was $1,032 between January and September, a fall from the same period in 2017. It attributed this to the “ongoing intense competition” in the shipping industry.

Its Atlantic route was its most profitable route in the third quarter (July 1 – September 30), bringing in just over $1.7 billion between, with its Trans-Pacific route being its second most profitable.

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Speaking about the results, Hapag-Lloyd’s CEO, Rolf Hansen, said the company has high hopes for the rest of 2018.

“We have seen a positive development in the third quarter and also ended on a positive group net result after nine months,” Hansen said.

“Higher transport volumes, a better utilization of our ships and the synergies from the recent merger with UASC have enabled us to partially offset rising operational costs.

“In addition, the average freight rate improved during the peak season in important trades. Despite the persistent upwards pressure on the operational costs in various parts of our business, we remain cautiously optimistic for the rest of the year.”

The results show a definitive uptick in Hapag-Lloyd’s fortunes. In July 2018, it lost more than $1.38 billion and saw its stock market value plummet by 20% due to a poor profit forecast. 

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