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A.P. Moller-Maersk, one of the world’s most recognisable shipping and logistics companies, has filed its second quarter (Q2) 2023 financial report and remarked on performances exceeding expectations. 

While the Danish company noted “ongoing market normalisation… leading to lower volumes and lower rates”, it also raised its full-year financial outlook thanks to more first half (H1) success than previously imagined. 

Maersk CEO Vincent Clerc said: “The Q2 result contributed to a strong H1 of the year, where we responded to sharp changes in market conditions prompted by destocking and subdued growth environment following the pandemic-fuelled years.”

On the face of the Q2 balance sheet, revenues are down on both the quarter and the half-year in comparison to 2022, but taking the past five years’ data into account, it is clear 2022 was an outlier. 

The company itself pointed to “the extraordinarily strong Q2 2022” when considering profits and revenue figures which seem “significantly lower” but were in reality still strong markers of a healthy business. 

“Cost focus will continue to play a central role in dealing with a subdued market outlook that we expect to continue until end year,” Clerc added. 

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By GlobalData

Maersk is hopeful of growth for the full year and said it “expects underlying EBITDA of $9.5bn – $11bn” in spite of a projected weakening of market conditions in H2. 

The company’s Ocean and Terminals divisions both registered decreased volumes and revenues thanks to lower demand and less congestion at North American ports. 

Across the market, A.P. Moller-Maersk warned of a significant drop in container volumes of between -4% and -1% by the year-end. 

According to the Freightos global sea freight price index, the global average container rate has dropped from $1,497 to $1,441 since May 2023.