The FINANCIAL — Danish oil and shipping company A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S Monday said it expects its dominant container shipping arm to continue to sail at a loss in 2012, as excess capacity continue to hamper shipping rates, as it reported that a tough shipping environment had reduced its 2011 net profit by 43% on the year.
Maersk, which operates the world's largest container shipping company Maersk Line, said it expects global demand for seaborne containers to increase by 4%-6% during 2012, but this growth will be lower at its key Asia-Europe trade lane.
According to Borsa Italiana – London Stock Exchange Group, its oil and gas business unit is expected to have a tougher 2012, where profits will be "significantly below the result for 2011", based on an expected 20% decline in its share of oil and gas production due to lower output in Qatar and maturation of its North Sea oil fields.
On a group level, A.P. Moller-Maersk expects to achieve full-year 2012 net result "lower than the 2011 result," it said.
The company's full-year 2011 net profit fell to DKK15.29 billion, from DKK26.46 billion a year earlier.
While shipping weighed heavily on the fourth-quarter performance, a higher oil price and hiked oil output helped Maersk's oil and gas producing division increase its contribution to sales and profits.
Sales rose 2.3% in 2011 to DKK322.52 billion, from DKK315.40 billion.