A.P. Moller – Maersk Delivers Solid 2023 Financial Results In A Difficult Environment

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  • A.P. Moller – Maersk achieved its 2023 financial guidance with underlying EBITDA of USD 9.8bn. Despite significant oversupply challenges and increased uncertainty, the company expects underlying EBITDA between USD 1.0bn and 6.0bn for 2024.
  • Prudent capital allocation includes a proposed 2023 dividend of DKK515/share, suspension of the share buy-back program, and the initiation of the demerger of towage business Svitzer.

Copenhagen, Denmark – A.P. Moller – Maersk delivered solid financial results for 2023, aligned with the year’s financial guidance. Despite increased volumes and effective cost control, eroding rates, particularly in the Ocean sector, impacted the EBIT margin of 7.7%, resulting in a revenue of USD 51.1bn.

Market During Pandemic

2023 served as a transitional year post the pandemic-induced market boom, and the company adapted to the changed circumstances through early and decisive cost management measures. Looking ahead to 2024, challenges such as the Red Sea crisis are expected to influence the market, emphasizing the importance of supply chain resilience and supporting Maersk’s integrated logistics approach.

Vincent Clerc, CEO of A.P. Moller – Maersk, stated that while the Red Sea crisis brought immediate capacity constraints and a temporary rate increase, the oversupply in shipping capacity would eventually lead to price pressure. The ongoing market disruptions underscore the need for supply chain resilience, reinforcing the appropriateness of Maersk’s integrated logistics strategy.

Ocean Sector

The Ocean sector showed strong schedule reliability, and cost containment efforts contributed to robust financial results. However, continued market challenges resulted in substantially lower freight rates, impacting profitability.

Logistics and Services

The segment won new business but experienced a revenue decrease due to destocking and lower rates at the beginning of the year. Profitability declined compared to 2022, and increased emphasis on cost management protected margins.

Terminals

Terminals delivered steady performance with a strong year, achieving a Return on Invested Capital (ROIC) of 10.5%, exceeding mid-term targets. Despite a decline in storage revenue, operational excellence, cost control, and price increases contributed to the positive results.

Financial Guidance for 2024

Guidance is based on the expectation of global container volume growth of 2.5% to 4.5% in 2024. Maersk anticipates fully realizing the oversupply challenges in the Ocean industry throughout 2024. High uncertainty remains around the duration and degree of the Red Sea disruption, influencing guidance with a range reflecting a duration from one quarter to a full year.

Underlying EBITDA: USD 1.0bn – 6.0bn
Underlying EBIT: -5.0bn – 0.0bn
Underlying Free Cash Flow (FCF) or higher: -5.0bn
CAPEX guidance (2013-2024): USD 8.0bn – 9.0bn
CAPEX guidance (2024-2025): USD 9.0bn – 10.0bn

Svitzer Demerger

The Board of Directors initiated a demerger of Maersk’s towage business, Svitzer, aiming to create a stand-alone listed entity. Subject to approval, shares of Svitzer Group are expected to be listed on Nasdaq Copenhagen on April 30, 2024.

Cash Distribution to Shareholders

In Q4 2023, a total distribution of USD 771m from share buy-backs occurred. For the full year, cash distribution reached USD 3.1bn. The Board suspended the share buy-back program immediately due to heightened uncertainty, proposing a 2023 dividend of DKK 515 per share.

Financial Highlights Q4 2023

Ocean Revenue: USD 7.18bn
Logistics & Services Revenue: USD 3.54bn
Terminals Revenue: USD 1.02bn
Towage & Maritime Services Revenue: USD 571m
A.P. Moller – Maersk Consolidated Revenue: USD 11.74bn

A.P. Moller – Maersk Consolidated EBITDA: USD 839m
A.P. Moller – Maersk Consolidated EBIT: -537m
A.P. Moller – Maersk Consolidated CAPEX: USD 1.25bn

Financial Highlights for the Year 2023

Ocean Revenue: USD 33.65bn
Logistics & Services Revenue: USD 13.92bn
Terminals Revenue: USD 3.84bn
Towage & Maritime Services Revenue: USD 2.16bn
A.P. Moller – Maersk Consolidated Revenue: USD 51.1

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Source: Maersk

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