Hapag-Lloyd has reported a higher operating result in the 2018 financial year as overall transport volume increased 6% year-on-year and revenues increased by 15%.
The shipping line attributed the improvement to higher global transport volumes, steadily improving freight rates in the second quarter and its merger with United Arab Shipping Company Ltd (UASC).
Hapag-Lloyd’s merger with UASC and the associated 21% increase in transport volume to 11.9m teu led to an increase in revenues to €11.5bn (US$13.6bn) from €10bn (US$11.3bn).
Strong volume growth and a significantly higher average bunker consumption price of US$421 per tonne led to an 18% increase in transport expenses to €9.4bn (US$10.7bn).
Average freight rate for the year was below 2017’s level at US$1,044 per teu with a better fourth quarter at US$1,079 per teu compared to USD$1,060 per teu the previous year.
Preliminary figures have shown that earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) was on the upper end of forecasts for the year as it rose to €1,138m (US$1,345m) from €1,055m (US$1,199m).
However, EBITDA in the fourth quarter of 2018 declined from €332m in 2017 to €324m (US$372m).
All of the results are preliminary, with Hapag Lloyd set to publish its consolidated financial statements and 2018 Annual Report on March 22, 2019.