Posted On: 24-11-2020
German container shipping major Hapag-Lloyd reported strong earnings in the first nine months of this year, benefitting from volume recovery in the third quarter combined with stable freight rates and low bunker prices. The group’s net income stood at $605 million in the first nine months of 2020, an increase of $272 million over the previous year. In addition, EBITDA amounted to more than $2 billion, representing a rise of $347 million over the prior-year figure. In the third quarter alone, Hapag-Lloyd’s net income grew to $290 million from $168 million seen in Q3 2019, while EBITDA increased to $756 million from $617 million recorded in the corresponding quarter last year. On the other hand, at around $10.5 billion after the first nine months of the year, revenues were about 1 per cent below the prior-year figure. As explained, this can primarily be attributed to pandemic-related effects, including a double-digit drop in demand in the second quarter and an overall transport volume that was 3.5 per cent lower than the prior-year figure, at 8,696 TTEU. The average freight rate was up 2 per cent, to 1,097 USD/TEU, compared to 1,075 USD/TEU in the first nine months last year, which had a positive impact on earnings. In addition, transport expenses decreased more than proportionately by 6 per cent, due to a combination of lower transport volumes, a lower average bunker price of USD 402 per metric tonne, and rigorous cost management as part of the company’s Performance Safeguarding Program (PSP). The first two factors have been contributing to Hapag-Lloyd’s cost-cutting strategy designed to save an amount in “the mid-triple-digit million range” in order to safeguard its liquidity and profitability. “In this nine-month period, we have achieved a good result and strictly managed our costs while at the same time benefiting from improved market conditions in the third quarter,” Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd, commented.
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