Highlights coming up next week in shipping

Next week is Maersk week in shipping, as A.P. Moeller-Maersk presents its 2nd quarter interim report and half-year result on Tuesday, August 19th. Followed by DFDS and three key Norwegian players.
Photo: Århus Havn
Photo: Århus Havn

A lot has happened since the Maersk Group and DFDS published their 1st quarter results back in May.

August 19th – A.P. Moeller-Maersk presents its 2nd quarter interim report

The planned large-scale P3 container collaboration between Maersk Line, MSC and CMA CGM was rejected by the Chinese authorities, leaving market players and observers wondering if Maersk Line had a Plan B. The carrier did, together with Swiss MSC, in the form of the 2M Vessel Sharing Agreement (VSA) announced in July.

Maersk Line achieved a net profit of USD 454 million in the 1st quarter 2014, up from USD 204 million in the same period last year. The container carrier also increased its expectations for 2014 as a whole to above 2013 levels.

Nils Smedegaard: Most things point in the right direction 

"All the major business units are showing progress, except for Drilling, which saw a slight decline. Maersk Line achieved a solid result for the first three months, with a high capacity utilization rate that brought reduced unit costs," said Maersk Group CEO Nils Smedegaard Andersen at the time.

The P3 alliance had at that time been postponed to the fall, and Smedegaard added that:

"This will have zero impact on our businesses for the year as a whole. And we're still confident that we'll be able to perform well without P3, and the first quarter has only served to strengthen this confidence," he said.

The P3 alliance was abandoned in June. This will be Maersk Line's first interim report following the announcement of the new 2M collaboration with Swiss MSC.

August 21st – DFDS presents its 2nd quarter interim report

Since the last time DFDS published its results, the shipping and logistics company has been declared the winner of the Battle on the Channel in the protracted competition proceedings against French Groupe Eurotunnel and its subsidiary ferry operator, MyFerryLink. Eurotunnel, which acquired three ferries from bankrupt SeaFrance, has been barred by the British Competition Commission from operating ferries on the English Channel alongside its tunnel business. MyFerryLink must seize operations before the end of 2014.

DFDS suffered a deficit of USD 20.11 million before taxes and one-off items in the 1st quarter 2014, and this was slightly above expectations, said CEO Niels Smedegaard at the time. The result was an improvement over the first quarter 2013, where the carrier lost USD 21.39 million.

Photo: Carsten Bundgaard
Photo: Carsten Bundgaard

DFDS maintained its expectations for the full-year 2014 for an operating profit (EBITDA) of USD 228.56 million to USD 255.99 million.

"We remain firm on our full-year profit outlook supported by the ongoing recovery of Europe's economies and our continued focus on efficiency and improvement projects," said Niels Smedegaard back in May.

August 21st – Bergen Group presents its 2nd quarter interim report

Norwegian shipbuilding giant Bergen Group achieved a positive operating result in the first three months of the year, at USD 503,600, up from a USD 4.14 million deficit in the same period in the 1st quarter 2013. The company's result remained negative in the 1st quarter 2014 with a USD 2 million deficit, though this still represented a major improvement over the shipyard's 1st quarter 2013, where the company lost USD 32.5 million.

The yard's CEO Asle Solheim said at the time that the first three months of the year represented a massive step in the right direction. The shipyard was registering a growing interest in the offshore service business, especially through Bergen Group's commitment to the major industrial area Hanøytangen, which services offshore projects off the coast of Norway. Danish Semco Maritime and Norwegian Apply have entered a  joint venture with Bergen Group at Hanøytangen.

Semco in major Norwegian offshore venture 

"Bergen Group has registered a growing interest in the Group's commitment to Hanøytangen. We are pleased to see that this industrial area is considered attractive for far more business than just rig service," said Bergen Group CEO Asle Solheim following the company's 1st quarter interim report in May.

August 21st – Prosafe SE presents its 2nd quarter interim report

Prosafe, the world's biggest supplier of hotel rigs for the offshore industry, had an orderbook totaling USD 1.7 billion by the end of 2013, including options. This was the highest level ever for the company.

The Norwegian company achieved a net profit of USD 18.3 million in the 1st quarter this year.

"The accommodation market remains busy with a large amount of inquiries from clients both in the North Sea and the rest of the world. There are, however, fewer tenders taking place than at the same point in time last year, and it is likely that the contract inflow in 2014 will be lower than the record level experienced in 2013," said the company in its annual report 2013, though adding that long-term demand remains positive, with maturing oil fields and prospects of increased oil extraction.

August 22nd – Odfjell SE presents its 2nd quarter interim report

Norwegian chemical tanker Odfjell suffered a USD 23 million deficit in the 1st quarter 2014, compared to a USD 13 million deficit in the same period 2013. This decline was attributed to an over-abundance of tonnage in the chemical tanker market, especially on the the Middle East and South America.

The carrier launched a large-scale reorganization, efficiency drive and cost-cutting process in the first quarter of the year.

"We expect the second quarter of 2014 to be better than the first quarter for the company’s chemical tankers. With regard to terminals, with the exception of OTR, we expect continued stable results," said the carrier in its 1st quarter report in May.

Maersk Line expects improved 2014 result

DFDS in USD 20.11 million 1Q deficit before taxes

Nils Smedegaard: Most things point in the right direction 

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