Denmark’s Maersk cuts 2,000 jobs

COPENHAGEN (AFP) – Danish shipping giant Maersk announced yesterday it was laying off some 2,000 employees as part of a restructuring plan, even as it said it fared better than expected during the coronavirus pandemic.

The restructuring plan was originally announced in September and covers the Ocean and Logistics and Services branches of the company.

AP Moller-Maersk, the largest shipping company in the world, has been refocussing on its transport activities since 2017 and said preliminary figures showed a better than expected third quarter for this year.

Revenue for the quarter was reported at USD9.9 billion, a drop of one per cent compared to the same period a year earlier, despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Volumes rebounded faster than expected, our costs remained well under control, freight rates have increased due to strong demand and we are growing earnings rapidly in Logistics and Services,” the company’s CEO Soren Skou said in a statement.

The third quarter results, which will be published on November 18, will be impacted by about USD100 million in restructuring costs, the company said.

“The outlook for Q4 is solid for the same reasons and we are therefore able to upgrade our expectations for the full year,” Skou said.

The group said it expected a gross operating profit for the year of USD7.5-8.0 billion, but cautioned that the outlook for 2021 remained uncertain “due to the ongoing pandemic”.