Container line Hapag-Lloyd almost doubles profit in first half of 2020

Transport volumes at fifth-biggest player down 3.5% year-on-year

While transport volumes are  recovering, Hapag-Lloyd says they are unlikely to reach their 2019 level this year as economies worldwide  contract amid lockdowns. Photograph: Barry Batchelor/PA

While transport volumes are recovering, Hapag-Lloyd says they are unlikely to reach their 2019 level this year as economies worldwide contract amid lockdowns. Photograph: Barry Batchelor/PA

 

German container shipping line Hapag-Lloyd nearly doubled net profit in the first half of 2020 and kept its full-year outlook intact but warned that the coronavirus crisis bears indiscernible risks for its operations.

“We have not put the pandemic behind us. Compared to a normal situation, customers’ booking behaviour is volatile,” chief executive Rolf Habben Jansen told Reuters.

Transport volumes at Hapag-Lloyd, the world’s number five in the industry, were down 3.5 per cent year-on-year at 5.8 million 20ft equivalent units.

Lockdown contraction

Mr Habben Jansen said those volumes were recovering but were unlikely to reach their 2019 level this year as economies worldwide had contracted amid lockdowns.

Net profit between January and June soared by 95 per cent to €285 million versus €146 million in comparable 2019. Mr Habben Jansen partly attributed the improvement to capacity discipline plus lower shipping fuel costs in the second quarter.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) in the full year should be between €1.7 billion and €2.2 billion and earnings before interest and tax (Ebit) between €500 million and €1 billion, he reiterated. – Reuters