Maersk shares rise as it posts first quarterly revenue growth since 2014

Courtney Goldsmith
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Maersk's shipping business has come under pressure from low crude and freight prices (Source: Getty)

The world's biggest container firm, AP Moller-Maersk posted its first quarterly revenue growth in more than two years for the first quarter of 2017 as it continues to see container transportation growing over the year

The figures

Shares in the Danish company rose as much as four per cent after it said pre-tax profit jumped 56 per cent to $574m (£447m) over the quarter.

Revenue increased five per cent to $8.96bn due to a significant increase in the firm's oil arm, which made a profit of $328m from a loss of $29m the previous year.

Maersk line, the firm's container shipping business, reported a loss of $66m due to higher fuel costs.

Read more: Maersk and Dong plot oil merger as price woes drag on future earnings

Why it's interesting

The container giant, which was hit by a combination of low oil and freight prices, revealed a major restructuring plan last year to combat headwinds.

In February, Maersk said global demand for seaborne container transportation was set to grow by two to four per cent this year, and today it reiterated expectations of a shipping recovery.

Michael Friis Jorgensen, analyst at Denmark's Alm. Brand, ​said: "Slightly weak earnings, but guidance was maintained, which is mainly driven by expectations for increasing freight rates this year."

What Maersk said

Chief executive Soren Skou said: "Whilst we cannot be satisfied with the overall profitability in the first quarter, the result is as expected and we reiterate our guidance for the year for the group."

We delivered year-on-year revenue growth for the first time since the third quarter of 2014 in line with our ambitions to become a growth company again.

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