Maersk has reported its first quarter 2023 results, which met expectations. Lower volumes across all segments were attributed to continued destocking and the easing of congestions. Revenue decreased by 26% to USD 14.2bn from USD 19.3bn, while EBITDA decreased to USD 4.0bn from USD 9.1bn and EBIT to USD 2.3bn from USD 7.3bn. Despite the challenging quarter, the company’s full-year guidance remains unchanged, with Q1 expected to be the strongest quarter of the year. The results reflect the ongoing impact of global supply chain disruptions.
During the first quarter of this year, the Ocean revenue of the company suffered a decline of USD 5.7bn, dropping to USD 9.9bn. The profitability was notably lower when compared to the same period last year, mainly due to a reduction in both freight rates and volumes caused by softer demand. Nevertheless, the company was able to contain costs proactively and has had a successful Ocean contract negotiation season, which is progressing as planned.
The Logistics & Services segment witnessed a growth of 21% in revenue during the first quarter, amounting to USD 3.5bn, mainly due to the consolidation of acquisitions. However, organically, the quarter was impacted by lower volumes attributed to inventory corrections, particularly with retailers in North America and Europe. Despite this, the segment managed to partially offset the impact through new commercial successes. Nonetheless, the underlying business performance was affected by lower rates in Air Freight and weaker demand in eCommerce.
The Terminals segment of the company experienced a decline in revenue, dropping to USD 876m from USD 1.1bn, primarily due to lower volumes and storage income. The reduction in demand and the release of port congestion were the main contributing factors to this decline.
Despite this, the company managed to maintain a solid financial performance in Terminals, thanks to its strong cost control measures. The first quarter was characterized by ongoing destocking in Europe and North America. Although it is uncertain when precisely this trend will shift, Maersk anticipates a gradual increase in volumes in the second half of the year.
“We delivered a solid financial performance in a challenging market with lower demand caused by a continued destocking. Visibility remains low for the remainder of the year and moving through this market normalisation, we remain focused on proactively managing costs. As we adjust to a radically changed business environment, we continue to support our customers in addressing their supply chain challenges. We are pleased to note that customers continue to value the integrated logistics solutions and close partnership we provide,” says Vincent Clerc, CEO of Maersk.
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Guidance for 2023
The company’s guidance for the full year remains unaltered and is still reliant on the assumption that inventory correction will be finished by the conclusion of H1, which will bring about a more balanced demand situation. Additionally, the guidance is predicated on the belief that there will be modest global GDP growth in 2023, and that the global ocean container market will expand by somewhere between -2.5% and +0.5%. The Ocean segment is expected to grow in line with the market.
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