Hapag-Lloyd has disclosed its 2018 annual report on March 22nd. Based on the audited figures, the group net result increased to EUR 46 million for the year 2018 and was thus EUR 13 million higher compared to the previous year (2017: EUR 33 million). Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose to EUR 1.14 billion (2017: EUR 1.05 billion). Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) went up to EUR 443 million (2017: EUR 411 million).
“The market environment in 2018 was certainly not easy: In the first half of the year, freight rates were below our expectations and bunker prices and costs increased during the year. In the second half of the year, however, these effects were partially offset as we benefitted from higher global transport volumes, better freight rates and improvements on the cost side. All in all, we are satisfied with the financial results for 2018”, said Rolf Habben Jansen, Chief Executive Officer of Hapag-Lloyd.
In 2018 revenues increased by 15 per cent in 2018 to EUR 11.5 billion (2017: EUR 10 billion), in particular thanks to the merger with UASC and the associated 21 per cent increase in transport volume, to 11.9 million TEU (2017: 9.8 million TEU). Transport expenses were primarily driven by strong volume growth and a significantly higher average bunker consumption price of 421 USD/tonne (2017: 318 USD/tonne), increasing by 18 per cent, to EUR 9.4 billion (2017: EUR 8.0 billion), proportionally less than transport volume.
Rolf Habben Jansen: “While our business is and will remain cyclical, market conditions have gradually improved for liner shipping companies over the last few years. Our course for the next few years is set and our objectives for 2019 are clear: Improve earnings, further reduce our debt and continue to implement our Strategy 2023 – all aimed at creating more value for our customers and for our shareholders as we strive to become number one for quality.”
In its most recent economic outlook for the year 2019, the IMF expects a global economic growth of 3.5 per cent and global trade volume to increase by 4 per cent. Hapag-Lloyd is anticipating a rise in the transport volume in 2019 in line with the general growth of the market.
Additionally assuming a lower increase in global transport capacity compared to 2018, Hapag-Lloyd’s average freight rate in 2019 is likely to increase slightly compared with the previous year. Hapag-Lloyd is also expecting the average bunker consumption price in 2019 to be moderately higher compared to the previous year.