This was above analysts’ forecasts, with a Reuters poll resulting in an average forecast of $1.38bn, and the company attributed the increase to better profits in its oil and container shipping business Maersk Line.
The firm kept its outlook for an underlying profit of around $4.5bn for the full year. Despite strong performance in key units, some investors have expressed mixed feelings over the future of AP Moller-Maersk’s oil business.
The latest results included $215m after tax gains from divestment of APM Terminals Virginia, Portsmouth, USA, as well as a $73m gain from Maersk Drilling divesting activities in Venezuela.
The results also included impairments in APM Terminals of $74m.
The underlying profit for the group was $1.3bn, flat with last year.
For Maersk Line, profit rose to $685m from $554m, amid lower costs and increase in average freight rate. The division’s volumes improved 3.7 per cent from last year.
Maersk Drilling made a profit of $192m, up from last year’s $148m, including a gain of $73m after tax due to divesting the Venezuela activities. Excluding the gain, the result was lower due to the startup of new rigs and maintenance.