Danish shipping group AP Moller-Maersk published its intention to cut 3,500 more staff by 2024 as it filed its third-quarter (Q3) results and its downgraded full-year outlook.
The container shipping giant confirmed its quarterly EBITDA at $1.8bn, a huge decline from $10.8bn for the same quarter in 2022.
Sales from its Ocean arm fell by nearly 60% as demand and international container rates slipped.
Maersk said it had already cut 6,500 roles from the start of 2023 to November, but said it was not enough due to the “worsening outlook”. It confirmed another 2,500 job losses likely before the end of the year and a further 1,000 in 22024, to make a total of 10,000 redundancies in approximately 12 months.
Maersk blamed the reduction on smaller global container demand, rampant inflation and overcapacity in many markets. CEO Vincent Clerc invoked the language of the Covid-19 pandemic, describing market conditions as a “new normal” for the industry.
Clerc said: ”Our industry is facing a new normal with subdued demand, prices back in line with historical levels and inflationary pressure on our cost base. Since the summer, we have seen overcapacity across most regions triggering price drops and no noticeable uptick in ship recycling or idling.”
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The company’s Ocean, Logistics & Services and Terminals divisions all had lower EBITDA figures in Q3 2023, but Terminals remained most successful with improved returns on invested capital despite a 4% drop in reported volume.
Shares in the global corporation fell sharply by at least 17% in the morning trading session on Copenhagen’s exchange.
Despite the drop in earnings and sales, it was hinted that the company is debating halting its share buy-back programme, which influenced investors to knock such a stake off the company’s share price.