Hapag-Lloyd publishes 2023 annual report and announces forecast for the current financial year

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Hapag-Lloyd published its annual report for 2023. As expected, a significant decrease in earnings was recorded. According to the report, the Group EBITDA stood at USD 4.8 billion (EUR 4.5 billion). The Group EBIT experienced a year-on-year decrease to USD 2.7 billion (EUR 2.5 billion), and the Group profit to USD 3.2 billion (EUR 3 billion).

We achieved the third-best Group profit in the history of our company – even if it is significantly lower than it was in the exceptionally strong year 2022 due to the normalisation of global supply chains. We were able to considerably boost customer satisfaction and the digitalisation of our container fleet. We significantly expanded our business in the Terminal & Infrastructure segment and grew our liner shipping activities in India and Africa. We reduced our carbon footprint, taking another step towards our goal of becoming net-zero carbon by 2045,” said Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd AG.

In the Liner Shipping segment, transport volumes for 2023 as a whole rose by 0.5% to 11.9 million TEU (2022: 11.8 million TEU). Transport expenses lowered by 11% to USD 12.9 billion (EUR 11.9 billion), primarily due to lower expenditures for demurrage and storage fees for containers and a lower bunker consumption price. Revenues dropped to USD 19.2 billion (EUR 17.8 billion), primarily owing to a lower average freight rate of 1,500 USD/TEU (2022: 2,863 USD/TEU). The EBITDA for 2023 decreased to USD 4.8 billion (EUR 4.4 billion) compared to 2022. The EBIT fell to USD 2.7 billion (EUR 2.5 billion).

In the Terminal & Infrastructure segment, an EBITDA of USD 50 million (EUR 46 million) and an EBIT of USD 21 million (EUR 19 million) were achieved in the 2023 financial year. Revenues stood at USD 202 million (EUR 187 million). Since the new segment is still in the process of being formed, it does not reflect the results of a full financial year.

In light of what has been another very good earnings trend, the Executive Board and Supervisory Board of Hapag-Lloyd AG have decided to propose to the Annual General Meeting a dividend of EUR 9.25 per share for the 2023 financial year – which would correspond to a total of EUR 1.6 billion and the third-highest amount ever paid out by Hapag-Lloyd.

For the current 2024 financial year, the Executive Board of Hapag-Lloyd AG expects the Group EBITDA to be in the range of USD 1.1 to 3.3 billion (EUR 1 to 3 billion) and the Group EBIT to be in the range of USD minus 1.1 to 1.1 billion (EUR minus 1 to 1 billion). However, this forecast remains subject to considerable uncertainty given the volatile development of freight rates and geopolitical challenges.

“We have got the current financial year off to a satisfactory start, but the economic and political environment continues to be volatile and challenging – especially in view of the current situation around the Red Sea. We therefore expect to see an overall decrease in earnings in 2024. As part of our Strategy 2030, we will be focusing even more intensively on quality and sustainability. We will continue to grow in our new Terminal & Infrastructure business as well as our share and portfolio of hinterland transports. At the same time, we will also need to reinforce our top 5 position on the global market and realise improvements in terms of cost efficiency and productivity,” Rolf Habben Jansen said.