Hapag-Lloyd rewards shareholders despite profit slump

Caption: Photo: Hapag-Lloyd

Although Hapag-Lloyd earned significantly less in the 2023 Annual Report, it still achieved the third-best result in the company’s history.

The shareholders of the Hamburg-based liner shipping company can be pleased: the Executive Board is proposing a dividend of € 9.25 per share at the Annual General Meeting. This would be a total of € 1.6 billion and the third-highest amount that Hapag-Lloyd has ever distributed. However, in the previous year, it was still a good €11 billion. [ds_preview]

Hapag-Lloyd, Habben Jansen
Hapag-Lloyd CEO Rolf Habben Jansen (© Jonas Walzberg)

CEO Rolf Habben Jansen pointed to the successes in a difficult market environment, even if the result was significantly below the exceptionally strong year 2022 due to the normalisation of global supply chains. “We have significantly expanded our commitment in the terminal and infrastructure segment and have grown our business activities in liner shipping in India and Africa.”

Third-best result for Hapag-Lloyd

A significant decline in profits was already evident in the preliminary figures. Below the line, Hapag-Lloyd posted a profit (EBIT) of €2.5 billion. In the previous year, it was € 17.5 billion. The Group result fell to just under € 3 billion, also a decline of almost $ 15 billion.

The transport volume in liner shipping actually increased slightly – by 0.5% to 11.9 million TEU (2022: 11.8 million TEU). Unit costs were also reduced by 11% to € 11.9 billion. However, as the rate level almost halved compared to 2022 from an average of USD 2,863/TEU to USD 1,500/TEU, the company suffered a significant drop in revenue from EUR 34.5 million to just under EUR 18 billion.

Hapag-Lloyd even faces a loss in 2024

The Executive Board expects Group EBITDA to be between € 1 and € 3 billion for the current financial year 2024. In terms of profit, the liner shipping company could even slip into the red with up to € -1 billion. In view of the volatile development of freight rates and geopolitical challenges, this forecast is subject to considerable uncertainty, according to the statement.

“We will continue to grow in our new Terminal & Infrastructure business segment and significantly expand our range of hinterland services. At the same time, we also need to strengthen our global top 5 market position and achieve improvements in terms of cost efficiency and productivity,” says Habben Jansen.

This is Hapag-Lloyd’s last financial year as a member of “THE Alliance” with ONE (Singapore), HMM (Korea) and Yang Ming (Taiwan). From February 2025, the Hamburg-based company will sail on the main East-West routes in the new “Gemini” alliance with Maersk.

Dienste, THE Alliance, Hapag-Lloyd Al Zubara Contaimnerschiff in Wilhelmshaven am CTW, Maersk, Niedersachsen, Häfen
© Hapag-Lloyd

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