German container shipping line Hapag-Lloyd delivered improved earnings in the period ended September 30, 2018, amid a recovery of freight rates and a significant increase in transport volume.
For the third quarter of the year, the company witnessed a significant improvement in its net profit, which reached EUR 113.4 million, compared to EUR 51.8 million reported in the same period of 2017.
Revenues for the third quarter was also up at EUR 3.03 billion, against EUR 2.79 billion seen a year earlier.
For the first nine months of 2018, the company’s net profit reached EUR 12.5 million, being roughly on a par with EUR 9.1 million as seen in the nine-month result of 2017, while revenues stood at EUR 8.4 billion, rising from EUR 7.3 billion.
Contributing to this development in revenues was a 27 percent increase in transport volume, which rose to 8,900 TTEU in the nine-month period from 7,029 TTEU seen in the corresponding period a year earlier. Hapag-Lloyd said that this increase resulted from the merger with United Arab Shipping Company Ltd. (UASC).
The average freight rate decreased to 1,032 USD/TEU, which is below the prior-year level of 1,068 USD/TEU. On a pro forma basis and when compared to the combined business of Hapag-Lloyd and UASC in the nine-month period, the transport volume is up 5.5 percent and the average freight rate is up 1.4 percent.
“Higher transport volumes, a better utilisation of our ships and the synergies from the recent merger with UASC have enabled us to partially offset rising operational costs. In addition, the average freight rate improved during the peak season in important trades,” Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd.
“Despite the persistent upwards pressure on the operational costs in various parts of our business, we remain cautiously optimistic for the rest of the year,” he added.
The company informed that the developments in fuel costs and freight rates are in line with the forecast for 2018 as a whole, which was adjusted in late June 2018.
“This forecast remains unchanged and lies within a range of EUR 200 to 450 million for the EBIT and within a target corridor of EUR 900 to 1,150 million for the EBITDA. Based on the positive development we have seen in the third quarter of 2018, EBIT and EBITDA are expected to be in the upper part of these ranges for the 2018 full financial year.”