Hapag-Lloyd Q1 net loss widens to US$68m on high fuel costs and low rates


GERMAN container shipping liner Hapag-Lloyd has reported a first quarter net loss of EUR62.1 million (US$67.5 million) compared with a net loss of EUR42.8 million in the year-earlier period.

The shipping line cited increasing ship fuel costs and lower freight rates for the loss. "At $313 a tonne, the average bunker price was clearly above the previous year's figure of $191 a tonne. This is the highest level seen since June 2015," Hapag-Lloyd said in a statement.

"The average freight rate was $20 lower than in the same quarter of the previous year at $1,047 per TEU," the statement added.

Hapag-Lloyd said transport volume increased by 6.8 per cent year on year to more than 1.9 million TEU, slightly up on the volume of 1.8 million TEU in the same period last year.

First-quarter earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) improved by 6.4 per cent to EUR131.3 million from EUR123.4 million in the first three months of 2016.

CEO of Hapag-Lloyd AG Rolf Habben Jansen, said: "Our activities in the first quarter focused on preparations for the merger with UASC and on the launch of our new alliance. The launch of the Alliance went well, and the merger with UASC will be closed shortly. After the closing our priority will be to integrate UASC into Hapag-Lloyd quickly and to realise initial synergies from the merger."

Overall, the merger with the Arabian liner shipping company is expected to generate annual savings of $435 million from 2019 onwards, with a large proportion of this already to be achieved in 2018.

Source: Schendet

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