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Maersk positive on global container shipping despite fourth-quarter miss

A.P. Moller-Maersk omitted fourth-quarter profit expectations on Friday but earnings were up and the chief head leading a turnaround at the world’s largest container shipping company powered the outlook was positive.

The Danish company’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) gain to $844 million from $605 million, but fell short of the $896 million anticipation by analysts in a Reuters poll.

Maersk expects underlying net profit to increase this year and 3-4 percent growth in seaborne container transportation after all about a 5 percent advance last year, it said.

“I’m still very positive on the fundamentals of the global container shipping industry,” Chief Executive Soren Skou apprised Reuters in an interview.

Skou, who has staked his future on Maersk as a transport dealing, said the level of global trade looks positive despite more talk of protectionism and that requires for new vessels are at a historic low compared to current fleet size.

Maersk set a restructuring plan in 2016 focused on shipping which led to a $7.45 billion reduced in price on the market of energy arm Maersk Oil to Total last August.

With oil prices flight again, it now has to prove to investors that its decision was right. The shares are down 27 percent from a July 2017 top when optimism around freight rates started to fade.

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