Hapag-Lloyd expects the second quarter to exceed expectations after the shipping line recorded an "exceptionally strong start" to 2022.


The Danish shipping giant concluded the first quarter of 2022 with an EBITDA of US$5.3 billion (EUR 4.7 billion) with the EBIT growing to US$4.8 billion (EUR 4.3 billion).


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The Group's profit also climbed to US$4.7 billion (EUR 4.2 billion) for the January to March period.


"The year has got off to an exceptionally strong start on the whole, and whilst there have been first signs that the market has passed its peak we also expect a strong second quarter," said Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd AG.


The liner noted that revenues rose in the first quarter of 2022 to US$9.0 billion (EUR 8.0 billion) which can primarily be attributed to a much higher average freight rate of 2,774 US$/TEU (Q1 2021: 1,509 US$/TEU) and a stronger US dollar.


While many ports are still congested, and hinterland infrastructures are strained, which together is resulting in longer turnaround times for ships and containers, Hapag-Lloyd said overall, transport volumes were "roughly on a par" with the prior-year level, at 3.0 million TEUs.


"Based on the current business performance, the second quarter will exceed earlier expectations," Hapag-Lloyd said.


Forecast for the year raised


In view of these circumstances, the Executive Board of Hapag-Lloyd AG raised its earnings forecast for the current financial year.


The shipping line noted that for the 2022 financial year, an EBITDA in the range of US$14.5 to US$16.5 billion (EUR 13.6 to 15.5 billion) and an EBIT in the range of US$12.5 to US$14.5 billion (EUR 11.7 to 13.6 billion) is now expected.


However, this forecast remains subject to considerable uncertainty given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, it added.


"Global supply chains continue to be under significant pressure – not least because of the recent measures taken in China in response to COVID-19 outbreaks. This situation is expected to improve in the second half of the year," Habben Jansen added.


"For our customers worldwide, we will do everything in our power to help normalise this difficult market environment as quickly as possible," the Hapag-Lloyd chief added.