Thursday, July 8, 2010

AP Moller-Maersk Predicts Even More Profitable 2010

Danish business conglomerate A.P. Moller-Maersk, the parent firm of the world's largest shipping line Maersk, is predicting a much better financial end to 2010, citing a much quicker rebound in cargo traffic than originally expected.

In March, the firm predicted a modest profit for the entire year, but upgraded this opinion slightly in May. The firm, which suffered its first ever loss in 2009, now expects to surpass its 2008 profit levels of $3.5 billion by the end of 2010.

"The outlook for 2010 is still subject to considerable uncertainty, not least due to the development in the global economy," said the firm in a statement. "Specific uncertainties relate to the container freight rates, transported volumes, United States dollar exchange rate and oil prices.

The upward profitability projection includes an accounting gain from the $520 million sale of shares in the Yantian terminal in China announced in April--a deal which has now been closed. In May, AP Moller-Maersk said it would sell its United Kingdom-based Netto Foodstores Limited for just under $1.2 billion. However, the deal signed with purchaser and Wal-Mart unit Asda Stores Limited is still subject to approval from the UK competition authorities and the possible gain from the sale has not been included in AP Moller-Maersk's upward projections.

AP Moller-Maersk's full half-year results are due out on Aug. 18.