Low oil prices, freight rates hit Maersk group's Q1 profits

COPENHAGEN – Danish shipping and oil group A.P. Moller-Maersk says first-quarter underlying profit plunged to $224 million from $1.5 billion a year earlier, with all sectors showing a drop in performance except drilling and tanker shipping services.

Hit by low oil prices and freight rates, the world’s largest shipping company says revenue fell almost 20 per cent from a year earlier to $8.5 billion.

CEO Nils Smedegaard Andersen conceded Wednesday that market conditions remained “challenging,” but maintained that the Copenhagen-based group was continuing to “adjust our cost base to the new conditions and maintain a good operational performance across our businesses.”

In 2015, it recorded a full-year net profit of $925 million, down from $5.2 billion in 2014, as revenue fell 15 per cent to $40.3 billion.