Although the new coronavirus epidemic has led to disruptions in supply and weak demand in the container shipping market, Hapag-Lloyd, the fifth largest container shipping company in the world, still maintains its full-year profit forecast.
In the first quarter, Hapag-Lloyd ’s core profit declined due to rising fuel costs and depreciation of fuel inventories at the end of the first quarter, when oil prices began to fall due to a decline in demand.
These unfavorable developments offset the positive impact of the increased freight volume. In the first quarter, Hapag-Lloyd’s freight volume increased by 4.3% to 3 million TEU, and freight rates rose by 1.4% to 1094 USD / TEU.
Hapag-Lloyd CEO Rolf Habben Jansen said that the second quarter will suffer a major blow, and freight volume may drop by as much as 10%. However, as China’s main trading partner in Europe begins to resume economic activity, with the help of cost and liquidity measures, the company may survive the difficulties and benefit from the recovery in the second half of the year.
Habben Jansen said: “We maintain our performance expectations, but clearly mentioned all uncertainties. We are still very likely to eventually reach this expected range.”
Hapag-Lloyd expects full-year earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) to be between 1.7 billion and 2.2 billion euros (approximately US $ 1.84-23.8 billion), and earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) to be between 500 million and 1 billion US dollars .
In the first quarter, Hapag-Lloyd EBITDA fell from 489 million euros last year to 469 million euros, while EBIT fell from 214 million euros to 160 million euros. Net profit fell 74% to 25 million euros.
Habben Jansen said that the company has now increased hundreds of millions of euros from its 1.1 billion to 1.2 billion euros in reserves. If the epidemic problem outside China continues, its business can be unhindered for the next 12 to 18 months Continue to operate. If the situation deteriorates, after the contract expires this year, the company will unlease the ship with a “small amount of double digits” to the market.
Not long ago, Maersk Line, the world’s largest container shipping company, predicted that global container shipments will decline this year, but it also hopes for a partial recovery in the fourth quarter. France’s CMA has obtained a national loan guarantee related to the epidemic crisis, and received a total of 1.05 billion euros in loans from BNP Paribas, HSBC and Societe Generale.