World’s largest shipping firm says demand will ‘significantly decline’ this year

Maersk containers onboard the container ship Hammonia Husum, as it leaves Portsmouth harbour. (Photo by Andrew Matthews/PA Images via Getty Images)

Andrew Matthews | PA Images | Getty Images

Maersk, the world’s largest shipping firm, beat second-quarter profit expectations on Wednesday and said it expects demand to pick up in the third quarter, but warned of a “significant decline” across the year.

Despite being negatively impacted by a “sharp drop in volumes” in the second quarter, with revenues falling 6.5% from the same period last year as the global economy was brought to a standstill by the coronavirus pandemic, Maersk upped its full-year guidance on Wednesday.

The company reported a 25% rise in second-quarter EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) to $1.7 billion, outstripping the $1.575 expected by analysts.

Maersk, often seen as a bellwether for global trade, now projects 2020 EBITDA of between $6 billion and $7 billion, up from initial guidance of $5.5 billion.

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