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Hapag-Lloyd posts H1 operating loss as freight rates slump

Wednesday, August 10, 2016 - 14:35
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German container shipping group Hapag-Lloyd said it dropped to a first-half operating loss as disappointing freight rate developments hurt is business.

[FRANKFURT] German container shipping group Hapag-Lloyd said it dropped to a first-half operating loss as disappointing freight rate developments hurt is business.

The loss before interest and tax (Ebit) came to 39.7 million euros (S$59.3 million), down from a year-earlier profit of 196.7 million, the company said on Wednesday.

Chief executive Rolf Habben Jansen said the main focus in the second half would be to further improve the cost base and to get freights back to a more sustainable level.

Hapag-Lloyd signed a binding agreement with Arab peer UASC last month to form the world's fifth largest shipping company by the end of 2016 in response to the global industry crisis.

Average freight rates fell by nearly 20 per cent year-on-year to US$1,042 per twenty foot equivalent unit (TEU) in the first six months of 2016, Hapag-Lloyd said.

REUTERS