At the same time, costs were reduced by 4% thanks to a number of measures introduced, including slower sailing and better utilisation of ships. On the adverse side, bunker prices averaged 51% higher than for 2007, although approximately 40% of this was recovered by way of the Bunker Adjustment Factor (BAF).
In spite of the better-than-expected performance, Maersk expects to make further job cuts during the year, in addition to the 4,500 employees let go in 2008. The reason for this, explained the company, was that some its divisions remain unprofitable and were dragging down profits.
AP Moller chief executive Nils Smedegaard Andersen said that Maersk would step up the streamlining process introduced during 2008. “We’re basically finished with cuts in Maersk Line but are now looking at other operations that need improvement, so more job cuts are in line,” he explained. â€¨