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Hapag-Lloyd hit by first half loss of US$115.4 million while sales rise 20pc

GERMAN shipping giant Hapag-Lloyd posted a year-on-year first half net loss of EUR100.9 million (US$115.4 million) drawn on revenues of EUR5.4 billion, an increase of 20 per cent.

"The first half was shaped by increasing fuel costs, higher charter rates and a slower than expected recovery of freight rates," said Hapag-Lloyd CEO Rolf Habben Jansen.

"In response, we have implemented additional measures to recover these costs: we are critically reviewing the economic viability of our ship systems and are further optimising our terminal contracts, to gain additional relief on the cost side," he said.

Transport volume increased 39 per cent year on year to 5,848 TEU. But average rates decreased 4.4 per cent to US$1,020 per TEU in the first half. Bunker prices increased to US$385/tonne in the first six months 2018 and mainly contributed to higher operational costs.

Said Mr Habben Jansen: "For the remainder of the year, we see a slow but steadily improving market environment, but we recognise that there are still significant geopolitical uncertainties that could influence the market. This only reinforces the necessity to be able to react quickly when needed and we therefore will accelerate some of our digitalisation initiatives and finalise our new strategy until the end of this year."

The reported figures of the first half year 2018 include United Arab Shipping Company Ltd (UASC) and can therefore only be compared to a limited extent with the figures of the first half year 2017 (including UASC since 24 May 2017).

With a fleet of 226 modern containerships and a total transport capacity of 1.6 million TEU, Hapag-Lloyd has 12,000 employees and 389 offices in 127 countries. Hapag-Lloyd has a container capacity of around 2.5 million TEU - including one of the largest and most modern fleets of reefer boxes.

Source: Schendet

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