A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S said the development in the second quarter has been better than the world’s largest container shipping company previously feared.
“With the current trading, the market demand in the second quarter of 2020 is developing more favourably than originally expected,” Maersk, which controls about one-fifth of the global fleet used to transport goods by sea, said on Wednesday.
Maersk now expects its volumes to fall between 15% and 18% in the second quarter, compared with its earlier guidance for a slump as deep as 25%.
As recently as May, when Maersk published its first-quarter results, the company warned of an historic slump in demand after emergency lockdowns across the globe hit international trade. The bleak signal from Maersk followed a warning from the World Trade Organization that the coronavirus pandemic could result in the worst collapse in international trade flows since World War II.
But on Wednesday, Maersk said that “based on the market development, combined with cost measures across the organization and significant blanked sailings in Ocean,” it now expects operating profit (Ebitda) before restructuring and integration costs to be slightly higher in the second quarter than in the first, when it booked $1.5 billion.
“Given the uncertainty on demand recovery in the second half of 2020 as economies are still impacted by Covid-19, the full-year guidance on earnings remains suspended,” it said.