Denmark’s A.P. Moller Maersk, MAERSKb.CO, gave an upbeat outlook for container shipping on Wednesday, August 15, lifting its shares by as much as 4.5 percent as investors looked beyond one-off second-quarter charges and a costly cyber attack on its operations.
Maersk has been hit by low oil prices at its energy arm and sliding prices in its shipping business in recent years due to lacklustre global trade and a glut of available ships for hire.
The firm also said it expected a $200 million to $300 million bill – primarily in the third quarter – from a June 27 cyber attack that disrupted its container shipping operations for weeks.
But its chief executive Soren Skou, who has staked his future on Maersk as a transport business, said the container shipping industry is showing signs of recovery this year as freight rates have picked up, while overcapacity is easing as orders for new vessels fall and existing ones are scrapped.
“Container shipping fundamentals are at their best since 2010,” Skou told Reuters following Maersk’s results.
Skou announced plans last September for Maersk to focus on transport, while seeking alliances or a separate listing for its energy division, which includes Maersk Oil. But Maersk has so far revealed little about progress on its plans, and Skou declined to elaborate on Wednesday.
Maersk seeks role in trade finance as banks retreat, Reuters reports.
Maersk shares have risen about 80 percent since February, in line with an improvement in the Baltic Dry index .BADI, which measures the price of moving raw materials by sea.
Its shares initially fell 3.5 percent after Wednesday’s results before jumping as much as 4.5 percent. By 1310 GMT, they had slipped back to 13,250 Danish crowns, up 1.3 percent.