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Maersk issues profit warning; shares crash

AP Moller-Maersk has cut $600m from its full year profit guidance amid deteriorating conditions in the container shipping market.

The Danish giant had projected a profit of $4bn for 2015 but sliced that figure to $3.4bn today sending its stock into reverse.

“Market conditions world-wide have been weaker than the group expected,” a statement said.
“Particularly the container shipping market deteriorated beyond the group’s expectations especially in the latter part of Q3 and October.

“The group now expects no market recovery within 2015. Initiatives have been taken to adjust Maersk Line’s network accordingly.”

Maersk Line is still expected to produce a profitable year, with its bottom line expected to reach $1.6bn. However, this figure has been revised down from $2.2bn previously.

AP Moller made the revisions today as it told investors its preliminary figures suggest a third quarter profit of $662m, some way short of the $948m consensus.

This takes its bottom line in the first nine months of 2015 to $3.08bn.
“Freight rates have been very low since this summer and in my opinion it was not reflected in Maersk’s previous guidance so I’m not entirely surprised to see them cut it,” Carnegie analyst Marcus Bellander told TradeWinds.

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