Maersk says 2011 profit will be lower

City A.M. Reporter
DENMARK’S AP Moller-Maersk said it will not repeat last year’s record earnings in 2011 due to expected lower oil output combined with uncertainty about freight rates and oil prices.

The shipping and oil group beat 2010 forecasts on the back of a container shipping recovery and higher oil prices, swinging from its worst result in 2009, when the global economic crisis hit trade and shipping, to its best result ever.

Maersk, which owns the world’s biggest container shipping company Maersk Line and produces oil and gas mainly in the North Sea and Qatar, posted a net profit of $5.01bn (£3.09bn) for 2010 against a loss of $1bn a year earlier.

“Things look better going into 2011 than a year ago, but our share of oil production will be lower and we still see some uncertainty about the oil price and where container rates will end up,” said chief executive Nils Smedegaard Andersen.