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HAPAG-Lloyd reported substantial profits for the first quarter of 2022.

The company’s first quarter EBITDA was US$5.3 billion (€4.7 billion). Its EBIT rose to US$4.8 billion (€4.3 billion), and group profit increased to US$4.7 billion (€4.2 billion).

“The year has got off to an exceptionally strong start on the whole, and whilst there have been first signs that the market has passed its peak, we also expect a strong second quarter,” Hapag-Lloyd CEO Rolf Habben Jansen said.

Revenues rose in the first quarter of 2022 to US$9 billion (€8 billion). This, the company said, can primarily be attributed to a much higher average freight rate of US$2774 per TEU (Q1 2021: US$1509 per TEU) and a stronger US dollar.

Many ports are still congested, and hinterland infrastructures are strained, which together is resulting in longer turnaround times for ships and containers, the company said in its results statement.

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Overall, transport volumes were roughly on a par with the prior-year level, at 3 million TEU. The result was impacted by significantly increasing expenses for container handling and a roughly 60 per cent higher average bunker consumption price, which stood at US$613 per tonne (Q1 2021: US$384 per tonne) in the first quarter.

The company said based on the current business performance, the second quarter will exceed earlier expectations. In view of these circumstances, the executive board of Hapag-Lloyd raised its earnings forecast for the current financial year on 28 April.

For the 2022 financial year, an EBITDA in the range of US$14.5 to 16.5 billion (€13.6 to 15.5 billion) and an EBIT in the range of US$12.5 to 14.5 billion (€11.7 to 13.6 billion) are now expected. However, this forecast remains subject to considerable uncertainty given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, the company said

Mr Habben Jansen said global supply chains continue to be under significant pressure, not least because of the recent measures taken in China in response to COVID-19 outbreaks.

“This situation is expected to improve in the second half of the year,” he said.

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