COPENHAGEN (AFP) – Global shipping giant Maersk reported its biggest ever full-year profit in 2022, amid soaring freight prices and easing bottlenecks following the COVID pandemic.
Maersk posted a net profit of USD29.2 billion, the highest earnings ever reported by a Danish company.
Sales rose by 32 per cent to USD81.5 billion.
Gross operating profit, EBITDA, more than doubled to USD36.8 billion, owing to lower costs and optimisations in the logistics chain.
Demand for shipping plunged at the start of the pandemic, but bounced back strongly from mid-2020 until mid-2022, leading to bottlenecks on trade routes and causing massive disruption in supply chains. The company’s ‘Ocean’ unit posted its best ever profit last year, up 33 per cent from the previous year.
Maersk said its earnings remained stable in the second half despite congestion easing and lower demand.
For 2023, the group forecast an EBITDA of between USD8 billion and USD11 billion.
Since the 2017 sale of its oil division to TotalEnergies, Maersk has undergone a vast restructuring aimed at focussing on transport and logistics.
Its drilling subsidiary, listed on the Copenhagen stock exchange since April 2019, merged with its US rival Noble Corporation in 2021.