Maersk Q2 profits way below forecast at $136m
COPENHAGEN • Danish shipping and oil giant AP Moller-Maersk yesterday kept its downbeat profit forecast for the year as it reported net profits that were way under expectations, amid a shipping recession and tough oil markets.
The group said net profit fell to US$101 million (S$136 million) for the April-June period, below a forecast of US$196 million.
In June, it fired its chief executive and announced plans to restructure the business, indicating that Maersk could be split into separate companies and part of it sold off, including the oil division.
The group named Mr Soren Skou, the head of Maersk Line, as its new group chief.
Maersk is fighting to keep its position as the world's leading container shipping carrier as a wave of mergers and acquisitions, particularly in Asia, creates new challengers out to grab a bigger share of a depressed market.
The group kept its forecast for an underlying profit for the full year significantly below last year's US$3.1 billion.
Exports help HK grow at fastest pace since 2011
HONG KONG• • The city's economy expanded at the fastest pace since March 2011 as an export pick-up helped offset sluggish retail sales.
Gross domestic product (GDP) for the three months to June grew 1.6 per cent from the previous quarter, the government said in a statement yesterday. It was up 1.7 per cent from a year earlier.
The government also revised the January-March GDP growth rate to minus 0.5 per cent quarter-on-quarter - the first contraction in nearly two years.
The economy grew 2.4 per cent last year. The government kept its GDP growth forecast for this year unchanged at 1-2 per cent.
It said in a statement that, even though an improving United States economy could provide some "support to Hong Kong's goods exports", the British vote to leave the European Union continued to pose global economic and financial risks.