Shipping company Maersk posts record profit as demand rises

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — The world’s largest shipping company said Wednesday that 2021 was its most profitable year yet, with Danish AP Moeller-Maersk grossing $18.7 billion as demand for a recovering global economy led to supply chain blockages.

Pre-tax profits soared last year to $3.3 billion in 2020, while 2021 revenue was $61.8 billion from $40 billion. CEO Søren Skou said “exceptional market conditions have led to record growth and profitability”.

In the past three months, revenue climbed to $18.5 billion from $11.3 billion in the same period a year earlier. Fourth-quarter profits were $6.3 billion, down from $1.3 billion.

The Copenhagen-based company said that as the global economy began to recover from the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns, strong demand was putting pressure on supply chains, particularly in the United States. States, as imports increased.

Skou noted that customers were facing “chain disruptions and severe challenges” and that record rates caused by pandemic-related congestion at ports, shipping container shortages and increased consumer demand drove Maersk’s record profits.

Global growth prospects are strong for 2022, the company said, “but risks are increasing for most regions. Moreover, it is very uncertain that the consumption of goods will continue to drive the demand for logistics and container flows, especially when the demand for services normalizes.

The current market situation is expected to persist in the second quarter before easing later in the year, Skou said.

Global container demand growth is expected to increase this year in the lower end of the 2% to 4% range, despite the good economic outlook.

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