AP Moller-Maersk has reported a net loss of DKK5.49bn ($1bn) for 2009 compared to a profit of DKK17.53bn ($5.1bn) in 2008.
The company said the global economic slowdown saw its 2009 revenue slump to DKK 260bn ($47.73bn) from DKK312bn ($57bn) in 2008.
Low activity and falling ship values were to blame combined with a growing global fleet following its acquisition of tanker shipping company Broström in early 2009, Moller-Maersk said.
Freight rates for the Group’s container activities were 28% lower than in 2008, resulting in a loss of $2.1bn for container activities, the company said.
Despite the 36% slump in the average price of crude oil since 2008 its oil and gas activities did turn a profit.
The company’s yearly cash flow from operating activities was $4.7bn, it said.