Danish shipping giant Maersk says June's cyber attack will cost it up to $300m

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The Danish firm was disrupted by a massive cyber attack in June (Source: Getty)

Shipping giant Maersk said today it still expects full-year underlying profit to top last year's, despite the fact it will take a financial hit of up to $300m (£233m) from a massive cyber attack in June.

The Danish firm said the majority of the impact from the cyber attack will be felt in the third quarter, because of lost revenues in July, when its entire IT system was hit by malware.

At the time, Maersk said the attack on 28 June led to congestion at its subsidiary APM Terminals, which operates at ports in the US, India, Spain and the Netherlands

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Today, the company said the shutdown had resulted in "significant business interruption", but added: "No data breach or data loss to third-parties has occurred."

Its Maersk Line container division took the biggest hit from the cyber attack, the firm said, though Maersk Line still forecast an improvement in underlying profit compared to last year. This was mainly due to "improvements in freight rates and partly increasing volumes".

Maersk added that full-year guidance remained unchanged despite the cyber attack. It expects underlying profit to come in above 2016's $711m, and gross capital expenditure for the year is expected to be between $5.5bn and $6.5bn, up on $5bn.

In today's second quarter update, the company reported a net loss of $264m, buffeted by post-tax impairments of $732m, which Maersk said was predominantly due to lower asset valuations in Maersk Tankers and "a few commercially challenged" terminals in the APM unit.

It has given a chirpy outlook for container shipping, saying the industry is showing signs of picking up. Investors were buoyed by that, pushing shares up three per cent this morning.

However, the company did add  its guidance for the year was subject to "considerable uncertainty", not least due to "developments in the global economy, the container freight rates and the oil price". 

Read more: Maersk's revenues could take a multi-million-pound hit due to cyber attack