Shipping group A.P. Møller - Mærsk has reported first-quarter earnings above expectations and maintained its profit guidance for the full year even as container volumes continue to fall.
Earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the group fell to $3.97 billion (€3.58 billion) in the quarter from $9.08 billion (€8.20 billion) a year earlier, beating analysts' expectations of $3.71 billion (€3.35 billion) in a Refinitiv poll.
Revenue was down 26% year-on-year, as results 'continued to come off their peak', the company said.
"We delivered a solid financial performance in a challenging market with lower demand caused by a continued destocking," chief executive Vincent Clerc said in a statement.
"Visibility remains low for the remainder of the year and moving through this market normalisation, we remain focused on proactively managing costs. As we adjust to a radically changed business environment, we continue to support our customers in addressing their supply chain challenges. We are pleased to note that customers continue to value the integrated logistics solutions and close partnership we provide.”
Maersk, one of the world's biggest container shippers and logistics firms, with a market share of around 17%, kept its forecast for the full year unchanged with EBITDA expected between $8 billion (€7.22 billion) and $11 billion (€9.93 billion), compared with a record $36.8 billion (€33.2 billion) last year.
The company added that guidance for 2023 remains grounded on the anticipation of restrained global GDP growth for the year, as well as the stabilisation of volume declines by the first half of the year. This stabilisation is expected to result in a more balanced demand environment, it added.
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