Maersk has confirmed outstanding financial results for 2021 driven by "exceptional market conditions" led to record-high growth and profitability, according to the company's CEO, Søren Skou.
In 2021, Maersk's revenue was increased by 55% to US$61.8 billion, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) tripled to US$24 billion and free cash flow was US$16.5 billion.
This significant financial growth allowed the company to make strategic long-term investments into decarbonisation and logistics growth, combined with strong cash distribution to shareholders, according to Maersk's statement.
Søren Skou, who believes that market conditions have also led to supply chain disruptions and severe challenges, said "we spent tremendous efforts in mitigating bottlenecks by expanding capacity across Ocean, improving productivity in Terminals and growing our global logistics footprint."
Additionally, Maersk's boss expects the current market situation to persist into the second quarter of 2022 with normalisation to occur early in the second half of the year.
Forecast for 2022
Regarding the full-year 2022, the Danish ocean carrier expects underlying EBITDA of around US$24 billion, underlying EBIT of around US$19 billion and free cash flow to exceed US$15 billion.
In parallel, Maersk expects its ocean sector to grow in line with global container demand, which is anticipated to grow 2-4% in 2022, subject to high uncertainties related to the current congestion, network disruptions and demand patterns.
The financial performance for the Copenhagen-based shipping company for the full year 2022 depends on several factors and is subject to uncertainties related to Covid-19, bunker fuel prices, and freight rates given the uncertain macroeconomic conditions, according to the company's statement.