German shipping major Hapag-Lloyd closed the first quarter of 2019 with a significantly higher operating profit.
The company said that earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) increased to EUR 214 million for the period, compared to EUR 51 million reported in the same quarter a year earlier.
The group net result was at EUR 96 million, against a net loss of EUR 34 million seen in the first quarter of 2018, while EBITDA surged to EUR 489 million from EUR 216 million reported in the previous year.
“Thanks to higher transport volumes, better freight rates and a stronger US dollar, we achieved a good result and got the year off to a very decent start,” said Rolf Habben Jansen, Chief Executive Officer of Hapag-Lloyd.
Revenues in the first quarter increased to EUR 3.1 billion, representing a change of by 17% compared to EUR 2.6 billion collected in the first quarter of 2018, while transport volume rose by 2% to 2,929 TTEU from last year’s 2,861 TTEU.
The average freight rate improved to 1,079 USD/TEU, and the result was also positively influenced by a stronger average exchange rate of 1.14 USD/EUR. In contrast, higher bunker prices of USD 425 per tonne, against USD 372 per tonne seen a year earlier, had a negative impact on the quarterly result.
“We are cautiously optimistic about 2019 despite slightly dampened forecasts for global economic growth and higher fuel prices. Q1 was in line with our expectations and we believe we can make further progress towards our strategic objectives throughout the rest of the year as we continue to roll-out and implement our Strategy 2023,” Jansen added.