Hapag-Lloyd fares well in first half of 2020 but COVID uncertainties remain


Hapag-Lloyd’s revenues in the first half-year of 2020 stood at approximately $7.0bn, less than 1% below the prior-year level. This can primarily be attributed to the fact that transport volumes decreased by approximately 4% to roughly 5.8m TEU. While transport volumes were still slightly increased in the first quarter, the second quarter saw a decline of roughly 11% compared to the prior-year period as a result of the pandemic. The average freight rate in H1 2020 slightly improved to $1,104 $/TEU.

Hapag-Lloyd has concluded the first half of the year 2020 with earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of $563m, thereby surpassing the prior-year figure of $440m. The group profit improved to $314m. At the same time, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose to $1.29bn.

Transport expenses were around 4% below the comparable figure for the previous year. An average bunker price of $448 per tonne, which is approximately 4% higher than it was in the prior-year period owing to the introduction of the IMO 2020 fuel regulation, was offset by positive effects from a volume-related decline in transport expenses and active cost management resulting from the PSP measures. In addition, the sharply declining bunker prices in the second quarter had a positive impact on Hapag-Lloyd’s earnings.

“After the year got off to a decent start, transport volumes significantly declined in the second quarter as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We benefitted from the sudden drop in bunker prices, adjusted capacity to lower demand and took additional cost-cutting measures as part of our Performance Safeguarding Program. On the whole, we have a good first half-year behind us despite the Coronavirus crisis,” said Rolf Habben Jansen, Chief Executive Officer of Hapag-Lloyd AG.

Given the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic repercussions it has had in many parts of the world, the forecast will remain subject to considerable uncertainty. In addition to the development of transport volumes, the development of freight rates and a further potential increase in bunker prices, in particular, should have a significant impact on Hapag-Lloyd’s results in the second half of the 2020 financial year.

Source: Hapag-Lloyd