Hapag-Lloyd posted a net loss of €100.9m (US$115.3m) in the first half of 2018 with the German carrier coming under pressure from competition and operating costs.
The net loss is double that of the first six months of 2017, €42.7m (US$48.8m), with increasing fuel costs, higher charter rates and slowly recovering freight rates all impact the company’s performance.
Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd, said: “We are critically reviewing the economic viability of our ship systems and are further optimising our terminal contracts, to gain additional relief on the cost side.”
Following the integration of United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) in May 2017, volumes were up by 39% year-on-year to 5.85m teu. On a pro-forma basis, combining Hapag-Lloyd’s and UASC’s operations last year, volumes are up by 3.9%.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose by 17% to €425.2m (US$485.9m), with EBITDA margin down from 8.1% to 7.8%. Revenues grew by 20% to €5.4bn (US$6.2bn).
Freight rates decreased to US$1,020 per teu from US$1,065 per teu, while bunker prices rose to US$385 per tonne, up from US$312 per tonne in the same period last year. On a pro-forma basis freight rates are up 3%.
Jansen said: ““For the remainder of the year, we see a slow but steadily improving market environment, but we recognise that there are still significant geopolitical uncertainties that could influence the market.
“This only reinforces the necessity to be able to react quickly when needed – and we therefore will accelerate some of our digitalisation initiatives and finalise our new strategy until the end of this year.”