COPENHAGEN, Denmark — The world’s biggest shipping company, Denmark’s A.P. Moller-Maersk, on Wednesday reported a sharp rise in earnings for the fourth quarter, when global demand for goods rebounded from an earlier slump caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Copenhagen-based company reported a net profit of $1.3 billion in the fourth quarter of last year from a loss of $72 million a year earlier. Revenue rose 16% to $11.3 billion.
CEO Soeren Skou said the quarter was marked “on the one hand by a continuous impact of the COVID-19 pandemic” but also “by some rewarding progress on our strategy to become the integrator of container logistics.”
Skou said the Danish company’s main operations “performed at record level in the quarter as a consequence of the strong rebound of demand which led to full capacity utilization.” He, however, noted that the full capacity situation within the company led to “bottlenecks, higher costs and difficulties in meeting our customer reliability promises.”
Maersk’s business is closely watched within the shipping and other industries as it seen as a barometer of global trade.
Skou noted that he saw Maersk continuing to grow its earnings “as the economic situation normalizes in 2021 and beyond.”