Global shipping major A.P. Moller – Maersk has reported improved profitability across the business in the third quarter despite the negative impact on global economies from the COVID-19 pandemic. The company grew earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) 39 pct. to USD 2.3bn with revenue decreasing 1.4 pct. to USD 9.9bn. According to a company release, the performance increase was based on a stringent costs control, agile capacity management, strong focus on customer offerings with further traction in uptake of digital services, and some benefit from a sequential demand recovery compared to the second quarter.
“Despite COVID-19 negatively affecting activities in most of our businesses, our disciplined execution of the strategy led to solid earnings and cash flow growth in Q3. At the same time, we managed to further integrate and simplify the organisation in Ocean & Logistics, we closed the acquisition of KGH Customs Services and continued the integration of Performance Team, supporting our strong financial performance in Logistics & Services,” commented Søren Skou, CEO of A.P. Moller – Maersk.
The main performance driver this quarter was ocean which, despite decreasing volumes of 3.6 pct. improved profitability by USD 511m to USD 1.8bn, reaching an EBITDA margin of 25.4 pct. on the back of a continued agile capacity deployment, lower costs and a temporary spike in short-term freight rates due to a sudden demand pick-up on some routes.