Hapag-Lloyd sees 9M transport volumes only slightly down thanks to Q3 upward trend

Strong earnings due to volume recovery in Q3, stable freight rates and low bunker prices

In the 9M, 2020 period, Hapag-Lloyd achieved a good result and strictly managed costs while at the same time benefiting from improved market conditions in Q3. However, the Company warned that with its increasing number of cases worldwide, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose high risks to the logistics industry and the supply chains of customers.

Hapag-Lloyd concluded the first nine months of 2020 with earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of more than US$2.0 billion (€1.8 billion), which represents a 20.4% increase over the prior-year figure. At the same time, earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rose to US$965.0 million (€858.0 million), surpassing the corresponding prior-year figure of US$722.0 million (€643.0 million). The Group net result improved to US$605.0 million (€538.0 million), an increase of US$272.0 million (€241.0 million) over the previous year.

At around US$10.5 billion (€9.4 billion) after the first nine months of the year, revenues were about 1.0% below the prior-year figure. This can primarily be attributed to pandemic-related effects, including a double-digit drop in demand in Q2 and an overall transport volume that was 3.5% lower than the prior-year figure, at 8,696 TTEU (9M, 2019: 9,011 TTEU).

The average freight rate was up 2.0%, to 1,097 US$/TEU (9M, 2019: 1,075 USD/TEU), which had a positive impact on earnings.

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In addition, transport expenses decreased more than proportionately by 6.0%, due to a combination of lower transport volumes, a lower average bunker price of US$402 per metric tonne (9M, 2019: US$425 per tonne), and rigorous cost management as part of the Performance Safeguarding Programme (PSP).

Looking ahead, based on the earnings forecast that was adjusted upwards in October, Hapag-Lloyd expects an EBITDA of €2.4 to 2.6 billion and an EBIT of €1.1 to 1.3 billion for the full financial year 2020.

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