Maersk Line believes it will improve on its first quarter 2019 performance this year even in the face of the severe downturn currently being experienced by the container shipping industry faced with the Coronavirus pandemic.
In a notice to the Copenhagen stock market posted on 20 March the says Søren Skou, CEO AP Møller – Maersk said that due to the uncertainties around the pandemic and governments’ measures to deal with the crisis, the company has suspended its full year guidance on earnings.
However, Skou also said, the company had successfully mitigated the extra costs associated with the implementation of IMO2020 in the first two and a half months of the year.
Mitigation had succeeded “Through good procurement, blending and manufacturing fuel ourselves and we have implemented rate increases to recover the actual fuel price increase from customers,” added Skou. As a result he expects “To deliver a Q1 2020 which is better than Q1 2019, despite declining volumes across our businesses, driven by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
According to Maersk its first quarter results will be around US$1.4 billion Compared to last year’s result of US$1.24 billion.
Meanwhile, Vincent Clerc, CEO of Maersk’s Ocean and Logistics, also delivered a message on the Covid-19 crisis, saying that the world is more volatile than we have ever experienced it.
He emphasised the gravity of the coronavirus crisis, its pace and level of disruption to the lives and businesses around the globe “is truly humbling,” he said.
Adding, “The safety of our people always matters the most, but we also know that our role in supporting you may be more important than ever now,” he highlighted. “Whether it is as the transport of essential supplies or in helping keep balancing your supply with a rapidly changing demand,” he added. “In these times, no one can predict exactly how this will pan out.”
Nevertheless, Clerc said Maersk’s operations are running to a large extent smoothly across the globe despite the difficulties caused by Covid-19.
Antonis Karamalegkos Nick Savvides
Editor Managing Editor