Maersk sees slowing demand for container shipping as Q3 tops forecast

COPENHAGEN-based shipping group Maersk reported third-quarter earnings above expectations on Wednesday (Nov 2), but lowered its outlook for the growth of global container demand this year amid concerns about the overall health of the global economy.

Underlying earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) rose to US$10.86 billion from US$6.94 billion a year ago, above the US$9.78 billion forecast by analysts in a poll gathered by the company.

Maersk lowered its outlook for global container demand, now seeing it down by 2 per cent to 4 per cent this year. Its previous guidance projected the fall in demand at the lower end of a range, between minus 1 per cent and plus 1 per cent.

The company cited an unfolding economic slowdown, expected to continue into the coming year, as the reason for its cut guidance.

Revenues climbed 37 per cent to US$22.77 billion in the period.

The company said it expects underlying Ebitda of around US$37 billion this year.

Maersk is one of the world's biggest container shippers, with a market share of around 17 per cent. It is often seen as a barometer for global trade. REUTERS

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