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Maersk sees global supply chain woes for longer; lifts 2022 guidance

Maersk sees global supply chain woes for longer; lifts 2022 guidance 1

By Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) -Maersk raised its 2022 profit guidance for a second time on Tuesday after beating quarterly revenue expectations as congested global supply chains that have boosted freight rates persist longer than expected.

The shipping industry has seen record profits in recent quarters due to a surge in consumer demand and pandemic-related logjams holding up containers in key ports in China, Europe and the United States.

“Congestion in global supply chains leading to higher freight rates has continued longer than initially anticipated,” Maersk said in a statement.

It now expects underlying earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of around $37 billion versus the $30 billion it forecast earlier. Maersk had initially expected full-year EBITDA at $24 billion.

The new guidance is based on a gradual normalisation in ocean container shipping in the fourth quarter of this year. Its previous guidance was based on that happening early in the second half of the year.

The Copenhagen-based company is often seen as a barometer for global trade as it transports goods for retailers and consumer companies such as Walmart, Nike and Unilever.

Electrolux, Europe’s biggest home appliances maker, last month missed second-quarter profit expectations in part due to supply chain problems, but said the supply chain situation looked better for the third and fourth quarters.

German shipping company Hapag-Lloyd last week also raised its earnings outlook for 2022.

Maersk, one of the world’s biggest container shippers with a market share of around 17%, said in June that the cost of shipping goods was unlikely to abate anytime soon due to array of inflationary pressures.

Shares in Maersk were trading up 1.1% at 0825 GMT after touching their highest levels since early June.

Revenue in the second quarter stood at $21.7 billion, it said, above the $19.7 billion forecast by analysts in a poll gathered by the company.

Underlying EBITDA was $10.3 billion, compared to the $8.2 billion forecast by analysts.

“The strong result is driven by the continuation of the exceptional market situation within ocean (container shipping),” the company said.

Maersk is due to publish a full set of results for the second quarter on August 3.

(Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen; editing by Kirsten Donovan and Jason Neely)

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