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Maersk helped by trade recovery, but misses expectations

Maersk helped by trade recovery, but misses expectations

Mubasher: A hike in demand for goods from locked-down consumers has sparked a jump in shipping rates, boosting Maersk’s profits, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

However, shares in the world’s largest container shipping line missed analysts’ forecasts for the end of last year and fell as much as 8%.

Maersk’s ocean shipping business, its largest division, performed at a record level in the quarter due to the strong rebound of demand, the company’s CEO, Soren Skou, said.

Driven by record high freight rates and low fuel prices, fourth-quarter earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) soared by 85% to $2.71 billion from a year earlier, albeit below the $3.06 billion predicted by analysts.

The Danish freight giant predicts global container trade to rise 3-5% in 2021 after dropping 2% last year.

Moreover, it expects EBITDA of $8.5 billion-$10.5 billion this year, compared with the $10.3 billion expected by analysts and $8.3 billion achieved last year.