Hapag-Lloyd’s operating profit grew by 226% year-on-year to €411 million (US$504 million) in 2017, according to the company’s annual report.
Group net profit for the year came to €32 million (US$39 million), compared to a net loss of €93 million (US$114 million) in 2016.
“Given the market environment, we are satisfied with the financial results in 2017, especially because we at the same time completed the integration of the businesses of Hapag-Lloyd and United Arab Shipping Company Ltd.,” said Rolf Habben Jansen, chief executive officer of Hapag-Lloyd. “The successful merger with UASC has significantly strengthened our competitive position. We also benefitted from improved freight rates and a positive development of the worldwide container transport volume.”
The shipping line transported approximately 9.8 million TEUs in 2017, 29% more than in 2016. This was driven by the merger with UASC as well as by strong underlying growth.
Revenue increased by 29% to €9.98 million (US$12.2 million), partly because of a 1.4% rise in the average freight rate to US$1,051/TEU.).
“Looking ahead, we will continue to further reduce our debt,” said Habben Jansen. “In addition to that, we want to capture all possible synergies from the merger with UASC and become even more efficient. Going forward, our customers will benefit from further improved services and new digital products. We will invest to strengthen our position as a quality services provider and will continue to grow profitably in the future. The market environment remains challenging, but as we see some of the fundamentals improving gradually over the upcoming period, we remain cautiously optimistic.”
An increasing demand for container shipping services and the inclusion of UASC’s business activities for a full year is expected to result in a higher total volume for 2018, according to Hapag-Lloyd.