Hapag-Lloyd has concluded the first half of the year 2020 with earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of USD 563 million (EUR 511 million), thereby surpassing the prior-year figure of USD 440 million (EUR 389 million).
The Group profit improved to USD 314 million (EUR 285 million). At the same time, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose to USD 1.29 billion (EUR 1.17 billion).
“After the year got off to a decent start, transport volumes significantly declined in the second quarter as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We benefitted from the sudden drop in bunker prices, adjusted capacity to lower demand and took additional cost-cutting measures as part of our Performance Safeguarding Program. On the whole, we have a good first half year behind us despite the coronavirus crisis,” said Rolf Habben Jansen, chief executive officer, Hapag-Lloyd AG.
Revenues in the first half year of 2020 stood at approximately USD 7.0 billion (EUR 6.4 billion), less than 1 percent below the prior-year level. This can primarily be attributed to the fact that transport volumes decreased by approximately 4 percent, to roughly 5.8 million TEU. While transport volumes were still slightly increased in the first quarter, the second quarter saw a decline of roughly 11% compared to the prior-year period as a result of the pandemic. The average freight rate in H1 2020 slightly improved to USD 1,104 USD/TEU.
Looking ahead, the results forecast remains unchanged. For the current financial year, Hapag-Lloyd expects an EBITDA of EUR 1.7 to 2.2 billion and an EBIT of EUR 0.5 to 1.0 billion. Given the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic repercussions it has had in many parts of the world, the forecast will remain subject to considerable uncertainty. In addition to the development of transport volumes, the development of freight rates and a further potential increase in bunker prices, in particular, should have a significant impact on Hapag-Lloyd’s results in the second half of the 2020 financial year.