“In the first quarter of 2018, we reported a 30% revenue growth and the integration of the business is well underway with a successful start to the Hamburg Süd integration and the closing of Maersk Oil transaction in March with an accounting gain of USD 2.6bn. At the same time, on the short-term performance, our result especially in the ocean related part of the business was unsatisfactory. In response to the current challenging market conditions we are implementing a number of short-term initiatives to improve profitability and we reiterate our guidance for 2018,” says Søren Skou, CEO of A.P. Moller - Maersk.
Reporting in new segments
A new financial reporting structure is implemented from Q1 2018 to support the strategic direction towards becoming the global integrator of container logistics. The four new business segments (Ocean, Logistics & Services, Terminals & Towage and Manufacturing & Others) are aligned with the strategic focus on growing the non-ocean part of the business disproportionally to the ocean.
Søren Skou, CEO of A.P. Moller - Maersk explains:
“The new format reflects that we are an integrated global container transport and logistics business focusing on our customers’ value chains, and it allows us to follow our progress, particularly in those parts of the business which are not purely ocean freight, which we need to grow in order to minimise the cyclical part of our business.”
A.P. Moller - Maersk increased its revenue to USD 9.3bn with volume growth in Ocean - excluding Hamburg Süd - at 2.2%, as expected slightly below estimated global demand growth of 3-4%. The non-Ocean businesses reports a revenue growth with 6% in Logistics & Services and 11% in Terminals & Towage, reflecting strong growth in volumes mainly driven by commercial wins and new terminals and services. Further, synergies have been realised from increasing collaboration especially between Ocean and gateway terminals, leading to volume growth significantly above the market growth.
Earnings before interests, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) increased by 5% to USD 669m, negatively impacted by adverse rate of exchange development compared to same period last year of around net USD 100m. Earnings in Ocean of USD 492m was impacted by higher unit costs among others due to adverse developments in bunker price and rate of exchange. For the non-Ocean businesses, the higher volumes in Terminals & Towage led to an improvement in EBITDA from USD 139m to USD 196m, while Logistics & Services reported slightly lower EBITDA of USD 23m from USD 32m.
The underlying result after financial items and tax of negative USD 239m was unsatisfactory. A number of short-term initiatives are being implemented to improve profitability.