Danish carrier Maersk has hiked its 2023 guidance to an underlying EBITDA of $9.5-11 billion(earlier estimate of $8-11 billion) and underlying EBIT of $3.5-5 billion (previously $2-5 billion) despite a weakened second half market outlook.

While the ongoing market normalisation continued through the second quarter, leading to lower volumes and lower rates, revenue declined 40 percent to $13 billion compared to $21.7 billion in Q2 2022. Profit before financial items (EBIT) declined 82 percent to $1.6 billion compared to $9 billion in the same period last year.

Profitability was strong at 12.4 percent, although significantly lower compared to the extraordinarily strong Q22022, says an official release.

Vincent Clerc, CEO, Maersk

“The Q2 result contributed to a strong first half of the year where we responded to sharp changes in market conditions prompted by destocking and subdued growth environment following the pandemic fuelled years," says Vincent Clerc, CEO, Maersk. "Our decisive actions on cost containment together with our contract portfolio cushioned some of the effects of this market normalisation. Cost focus will continue to play a central role in dealing with a subdued market outlook that we expect to continue until the end year. While we step this agenda further up, we are unwavering in our transformation and continue to invest in and deliver truly integrated logistics solutions to our customers and amplify their supply chain resilience for the uncertain times ahead."

Ocean revenue down 50%
Ocean revenue dropped 50 percent to $8.7 billion from $17.4 billion in Q22022, "driven by a decrease in freight rates and loaded volumes. While the volume and rate environment stabilised at a lower level during Q2, Ocean continued to be impacted by lower demand, driven by a significant inventory correction in particular in North America and Europe."

Loaded volume declined six percent to 2.9 million TEUs compared to 3.1 million TEUs in Q22022. Average loaded freight rate dropped 51 percent to $2,444/FFE compared to $4,983/FFE in Q22022.

Revenue in logistics & services was flat at $3.4 billion compared to $3.5 billion, and revenue in terminals decreased to $950 million from $1.1 billion.

Maersk distributed $2.4 billion to shareholders during Q22023 "through dividend withholding taxes paid of $1.5 billion and share buy-backs of $868 million."

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