“The first half of 2018 was shaped by clearly increasing fuel costs, higher charter rates and a slower than expected recovery of freight rates. In response to that, we have implemented additional measures to recover these costs: we are critically reviewing the economic viability of our ship systems and are further optimising our terminal contracts, to gain additional relief on the cost side,” said Rolf Habben Jansen, Chief Executive Officer of Hapag-Lloyd.
Hapag-Lloyd has concluded the first half of the year 2018 with earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of EUR 425.2 million. This is EUR 61.4 million higher compared to the EBITDA of the first six months of 2017 (EUR 363.8 million). The earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) stood at EUR 88.7 million after six months and therefore close to the level of the first half of the year 2017 (EUR 90.7 million). The group net result amounted to EUR -100.9 million, which is EUR 58.2 million below the 2017 half year result (EUR -42.7 million). These developments are mainly driven by the ongoing intense competition as well as higher operational costs, partly compensated by synergies coming from the business combination with United Arab Shipping Company Ltd (UASC).
Revenues climbed up to EUR 5.4 billion in the first six months of this year (H1 2017: EUR 4.5 billion) and the reported transport volume increased by 39 per cent to 5,848 TTEU (H1 2017: 4,221 TTEU). The reported average freight rate decreased to 1,020 USD/TEU in the first half of the year 2018 (H1 2017: 1,065 USD/TEU).
On a pro forma basis and when compared to the combined business of Hapag-Lloyd and UASC in the first half year of 2017, volumes are up 3.9 percent and rates have increased 3 per cent. Bunker prices increased significantly to USD 385/tonne in the first six months 2018 (H1 2017: USD 312/tonne) and mainly contributed to higher operational costs.
Rolf Habben Jansen: “For the remainder of the year, we see a slow but steadily improving market environment, but we recognise that there are still significant geopolitical uncertainties that could influence the market. This only reinforces the necessity to be able to react quickly when needed – and we therefore will accelerate some of our digitalisation initiatives and finalise our new strategy until the end of this year.”
With a fleet of 226 modern container ships and a total transport capacity of 1.6 million TEU, Hapag-Lloyd is one of the world’s leading liner shipping companies. The company has around 12,000 employees and 389 offices in 127 countries. Hapag-Lloyd has a container capacity of around 2.5 million TEU – including one of the largest and most modern fleets of reefer containers. A total of 120 liner services worldwide ensure fast and reliable connections between more than 600 ports on all the continents.