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Maersk says shipping boom will stabilise in H2, revises up profit guidance

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Shipping containers are transported on a Maersk Line vessel through the Suez Canal in Ismailia, Egypt July 7, 2021. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh/File Photo
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COPENHAGEN (Reuters) -Shipping group Maersk on Tuesday raised its guidance for the full year after first-quarter operating profit came in above its previous expectations, driven by high container freight rates.

“The strong result is driven by the continuation of the exceptional market situation within ocean (shipping),” Maersk said in a trading statement.

Guidance for the full year was revised upwards, with underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) expected to be about $30 billion compared to $24 billion previously expected.

The guidance was based on an “assumption of normalization in ocean shipping early in the second half of 2022”, it said.

Container freight rates rose by an average 71% in the first quarter compared to a year earlier, the company said.

Revenue in the first three months of the year stood at $19.3 billion, with underlying EBITDA at $9.2 billion.

Container volumes declined 7% between January and March. Maersk now expects growth in global container demand this year of between minus 1% and plus 1%, compared to its previous expectation of 2-4% growth.

Maersk revises up profit guidance on exceptional first quarter

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