Within these figures, Maersk Line made a profit of US$461m compared to its loss of US$553m in 2011, with ROIC of 2.4%. The results were positively affected by improved volumes, which increased by 5% to 8.5m FFE, rates and unit costs. The average freight rates were 1.9% higher at 2,881 US$/FFE (2,828 US$/FFE – 2011). Bunker consumption per FFE was reduced by 11% while the headquarters headcount was reduced significantly.
Maersk Line announced and implemented significant general rate increases on most trades backed by active capacity adjustments in the form of slow steaming, scrappings, idling and blanked sailings.
Maintaining its market share for the full year, Maersk Line’s total fleet capacity increased by 4% to 2.6m teu (2.5m teu – 2011); the capacity growth in owned fleet was partly offset by redelivery of time charter vessels. Cash flow from operating activities was US$1.8bn (US$ 899m) and cash flow used for capital expenditure was US$3.6bn (US$ 3.2bn).
The ports and terminal operating arm, APM Terminals, also returned a profit at US$723m (US$ 648m – 2011) with its ROIC at 13.6% (13.1%). The result was positively affected by pre-tax divestment gains of US$123m. Cash flow from operating activities was US$975m and cash flow used for capital expenditure was US$1.4bn.
The number of containers handled increased by 6% to 35.4m teu (33.5m TEU), ahead of the market growth of 4%, boosted by additions to the portfolio. The main portfolio changes were the acquisition of a 37.5% co-controlling stake in Global Ports Investments PLC, Russia, as well as the take-over of operations in Gothenburg, Sweden. New terminal projects were secured in Lazaro Cardenas, Mexico, and in Ningbo, China.