Shipping group A.P. Moller-Maersk has reported fourth-quarter earnings slightly below expectations, and forecast a 2023 core profit significantly below last year's as volumes and freight rates fall.
The company said in a statement it expected underlying earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) between $8 billion (€7.5 billion) and $11 billion (€10.2 billion) this year, compared with $36.8 billion (€34.3 billion) last year.
'Guidance for 2023 is based on the expectation that inventory correction will be complete by the end of the first half leading to a more balanced demand environment,' it said.
Vincent Clerc, CEO of A.P. Moller - Maersk added, "As we enter a year with challenging macro-outlook and new types of uncertainties for our customers, we are determined to speed up our business transformation and increase our operational excellence to seize the unique opportunities in front of us."
Underlying EBITDA stood at $6.52 billion (€6.1 billion) in the fourth quarter, compared with $7.99 billion (€7.4 billion) a year ago and a $6.95 billion (€6.5 billion) forecast by analysts in a poll gathered by the company.
Revenues fell slightly to $17.8 billion (€16.6 billion) in the period as the number of containers it loaded on to ships fell by 14%.
In full year 2022, the shipping giant saw revenue growth of 32% to $81.5 billion (€75.6 billion) and EBIT increased 57% to $30 billion (€27.9 billion).
Its Ocean division saw revenue up 33% mainly due to high freight rates and strong demand, particularly in the first half of the year.
In 'Logistics & Services', revenue increased by 47%, with an organic contribution of 21%, Maersk added.
The organic revenue growth came primarily from top 200 customers and was particularly strong in warehousing, where the area more than doubled to 7.1 million square metres.
The acquisition of LF Logistics alone added 198 warehouses, or 3.1 million square metres.
News by Reuters, additional reporting by ESM – your source for the latest supply chain news. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.