Maersk Anchors Annual Profit Predictions Following A Difficult Third Quarter

Shipping giant Maersk has slimmed down their profit predictions following a cyber attack, rising oil prices, and a difficult third quarter. Financial Times reports that original profits were expected to hit over $711 million. While the Danish company has not revealed the exact new numbers, they did say that it will take a hit.

Reuters reports that Chief Executive Soren Skou said in August that financials were at a peak since 2010 levels. But then freight rates dropped by 1.1% in the third quarter.

“The freight rates sticks out as the most negative element,” Sydbank analyst Morten Imsgard said in a statement to Reuters. “I‘m very surprised that they as a minimum can’t deliver the same rates as in the second quarter.”

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the price of freight is projected to increase from $882 per tonin 2007 to $1,377 per ton in 2040. While the Maersk dip is not in line with this trend, it could mean a financial dip in the short term.

As for the cyber attack, Financial Times reports that this breach cost the company $250 million to $300 million. Called the NotPetya cyber attack, the incident had a financial impact in July and August. Chief Finance Officer Jakob Stausholm said in a statement to Financial Times that Maersk had a more difficult time recovering from the breach then they originally anticipated.

“The third quarter has been more difficult for us and we could have grown more if we hadn’t had this terrible criminal cyber attack,” Stausholm said in a statement to Reuters.

Financial Times reports that the actual container shipping portion of operations was doing the best during their financial dip. Steel shipping containers last an average of 25 years, and the products enjoyed a 5% boost in the last quarter.

The company also promised investors that they were focusing more on transport and logistics, according to Reuters. The third quarter was full of these changes, as the company sold its oil business to France’s Total for 7.5 billion and its oil tanker unit to a shareholder for $1.2 billion.

Stausholm told Financial Times that Maersk was optimistic about this month’s increased freight rates. According to Reuters, the shipping giant’s earnings will sail in at an initial $978 million.

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