Hapag-Lloyd has ended the first quarter of 2019 on a high as operating profit rose to €214m (US$240.4m) from €51m (US$57.3m) in 2018.
The group net result increased to €96m (US$107.9m) – a vast improvement on 2018’s Q1 result of -€34m (US$38.2m) while revenues increased by 17% to €3.1bn (US$3.5bn) and transport volumes increased by 2% to 2.929m teu.
Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd, said: “Thanks to higher transport volumes, better freight rates and a stronger US dollar, we achieved a good result and got the year off to a very decent start.”
Average freight rate improved to 1,079 USD/teu, while there was a stronger average exchange rate of 1.14 USD/EUR compared to the first quarter of 2018 where it was 1.23 USD/EUR.
However, higher bunker prices of US$425 per tonne had a negative impact on the quarterly result.
Jansen added: “We are cautiously optimistic about 2019 despite slightly dampened forecasts for global economic growth and higher fuel prices.
“Q1 was in line with our expectations and we believe we can make further progress towards our strategic objectives throughout the rest of the year as we continue to roll-out and implement our Strategy 2023.”
Hapag-Lloyd’s Strategy 2023, unveiled in 2018, is based upon several elements such as key cost initiatives focused on network optimisation, terminal partnering and further improvements in procurement and container steering.