Maersk Line moved back into profit for the second quarter of 2012 with volumes rising 11 per cent and average freight rates increasing 4.2 per cent.
The profit for the period was $227m compared to a loss of $95m last year.
Container volumes increased by 11 per cent to 2.2m FFE and the average freight rate increased by 4.2 per cent to $3,014 per FFE.
Maersk Line implemented further rate increases on most trades during the quarter backed by capacity reduction. A ten per cent increase in the bunker price was partly offset by an eight per cent reduction in bunker consumption per FFE.
Continued slow steaming during the quarter reduced capacity resulting in more vessels necessary to support major strings and has led to the decrease in bunker consumption.
The group said the reliability of the Daily Maersk service concept had on average been above 97 per cent since introduction, despite deployment changes and a number of cancelled sailings during Q2.
Maersk Line maintained its market share from Q4 2011 in Q2 2012. Maersk Line was among the first movers to implement general rate increases with a slightly negative impact on the market share towards the end of Q2.
A restructuring of Maersk Line’s headquarter function was conducted to strengthen Maersk Line’s focus on customers and markets. The restructuring will reduce headcount by about 400 employees.
For the first half, Maersk Line made a loss of $372m (profit of $329m). The volume increased by 15 per cent to 4.4m FFE and average freight rates, including bunker surcharges, were two per cent lower.
Maersk Line now expects a modest positive result in 2012 based on higher average rates in the second half of the year. Global demand for seaborne containers is expected to increase by four per cent in 2012, but with declining inbound European volumes.
And parent group AP Moller – Maersk has revised its expected result for 2012 upwards from slightly lower to slightly above the result for 2011 ($3.4bn). Cash flow used for capital expenditure is expected to be lower than 2011 ($9.8bn) while cash flow from operating activities is expected to be at the same level as 2011 ($7.3bn).