Danish group expects volumes to crash by up to 25% in the second quarter when the impact of the coronavirus pandemic will hit home. But chief executive Søren Skou says it is "strongly positioned to weather the storm"
Maersk reported an underlying profit of £197m, as revenues grew slightly to $9.6bn despite lower volumes across all segments.
MAERSK, the world’s largest ocean box carrier, improved its financial performance in the first quarter of 2020 despite the impact of the coronavirus, however warned of worse to come in the second three-month period.
The Danish group reported an underlying profit of £197m for the three-month period against losses of $69m in 2019, while Maersk’s first quarter revenues grew marginally to $9.6bn despite lower volumes across all segments.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation improved by 23% to $1.5bn, and cash return on invested capital increased by 3.5 percentage points to 10.5%.
However, chief executive Søren Skou warned that “visibility remains low” for the second quarter of 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We continue to support our customers in keeping their supply chains running, however as global demand continues to be significantly affected, we expect volumes in Q2 to decrease across all businesses, possibly by as much as 20-25%,” he said in the carrier’s interim report.
“2020 is a challenging year, but as we proactively respond to lower demands and show progress in our transformation and financial performance, we are strongly positioned to weather the storm.”