German transportation company Hapag-Lloyd ended the third quarter of 2014 with a positive operating result of EUR 33.1 million (USD 41.2 million).
In the first nine months of 2014, Hapag-Lloyd had a transport volume of 4.3 million TEU, a year-on-year increase of around 6%.
Despite this increase in transport volume, transport expenses fell by EUR 46 million to EUR 4.33 billion, the company said.
At 1,432 USD/TEU, the average freight rate was down almost 5% on the previous year’s figure. Revenue totalled EUR 4.9 billion, a fall of 2.5% compared to the previous year.
Hapag-Lloyd attributed this to a weak US dollar, in addition to the low freight rate. Adjusted for exchange rate effects, revenue remained stable.
Hapag-Lloyd reported an EBITDA of EUR 178.6 million for the first nine months of 2014 (previous year: EUR 305.4 million). The operating result came to EUR -40.6 million (previous year: EUR 80.4 million) and resulted largely from the freight rates, which fell again sharply in 2014.
The group’s net result came to EUR -224.0 million (previous year: EUR -56.1 million).
“Although it is a first step in the right direction, we are not satisfied with the result. We are, however, on a good path,” said Rolf Habben Jansen, Chief Executive Officer of Hapag-Lloyd.
Alongside the expected synergies of USD 300 million from the combination with CSAV’s container business, Hapag-Lloyd said it was also using a comprehensive optimization package to face the continuing challenges of the market and the competition.
At the centre of this are targeted measures to further cut costs, Hapag noted, in addition to optimization of sales.
In addition to this package, the company said it was preparing for the planned integration of Chilean shipping company CSAV’s container business.
“As soon as all relevant antitrust authorities have approved the transaction, CSAV’s container business will be integrated into the Hapag-Lloyd Group. Closing is expected to occur in the coming weeks,” the company explained.
“We expect 2015 to be yet another challenging year. But we all have good reason to look ahead with optimism. With CSAV’s container business, Hapag-Lloyd will become the fourth-largest liner shipping company in the world. In addition to our market leadership in the North Atlantic, together we will also become one of the leading providers in the attractive North–South trades,” continued Habben Jansen.