[LEFT][B]Hapag-Lloyd holds its own in a demanding market environment / EUR 78.8 million operating profit as of 30 September / Solid balance sheet / More than EUR 600 million in cash
Hapag-Lloyd generated an operating result (adjusted EBIT) of EUR 36.7 million in the third quarter 2011. This took the operating result for the first nine months of the current financial year to EUR 78.8 million. EBITDA came to approx. EUR 275 million in the first nine months of 2011. Group earnings after interest and taxes (EAT) were also positive in the third quarter at EUR 9.6 million. This made the third quarter the best in the current financial year to date. The positive result was also achieved by consistently pursuing and optimising the cost savings programme that Hapag-Lloyd initiated in 2009.
“We performed very well in a demanding market environment. Hapag-Lloyd’s operating result is well above the industry average,” said Michael Behrendt, Chairman of the Executive Board of Hapag-Lloyd AG. Economic uncertainty, turbulent foreign exchange markets, tough competition and high bunker prices are currently the defining features of the market and industry environment. “Given the challenging conditions that all liner shipping companies are still facing, our operating result is satisfactory and a clear sign of our strength.”
In the first nine months, Hapag-Lloyd generated positive cash flow from operating activities of EUR 186.8 million (Q3: EUR 41.0 million). Hapag-Lloyd’s average freight rate in the first nine months of 2011 was USD 1,540 per TEU, on par with last year’s figure of USD 1,547 per TEU. Transport volumes rose by 3.9% to 3.874 million TEU. However, compared with last year, transport expenses increased by more than EUR 333 million, due primarily to the steep rise in bunker prices. This was significant in preventing higher earnings.
In the third quarter of 2011 revenue came to around EUR 1.54 billion, compared with EUR 1.78 billion in the same period a year ago. The revenue of EUR 4.50 billion for the first nine months was down on last year (EUR 4.67 billion). The lower revenue is largely the result of severe exchange rate fluctuations due to the debt crisis in Europe. Expressed in US-Dollar revenue for the nine month period amounted to 6.33 billion USD which was around 3% higher than last year.
Hapag-Lloyd has a very solid balance sheet. With equity of EUR 3.4 billion as of 30.9. Hapag-Lloyd maintained a very strong equity ratio of 52.7%. Gearing of 34.2% is still well below the industry average. Cash of EUR 601 million represents around 10% of total assets (EUR 6.4 billion). In November, the financing and financial debt maturity structure was further optimised, so that Hapag-Lloyd has no elevated borrowing requirements until 2015. This puts Hapag-Lloyd in a strong position for the unchanged challenging market conditions.