Liner shipping giant Hapag-Lloyd had exceptionally strong results during the year 2022 which enabled the company to strengthen its financial resilience, and asset structure once again, but the economy has cooled and a significant decrease in earnings remains inevitable, as the company says today in its 2022 annual report.

The strong man behind Hapag-Lloyd, the CEO of Hapag-Lloyd Rolf Habben Jansen, says today that the company will continue to act flexibly in the market and “keep a close eye on its costs.” In addition, the liner company will be working very intensively on formulating the strategic course that will pursue until 2030.

“We have got the current financial year off to a decent start, but the economy has cooled and a significant decrease in earnings remains inevitable,” says Rolf Habben Jansen.

The company expects earnings to gradually normalise in the current 2023 financial year. Ebitda is expected to be in the range of USD 4.3 to 6.5 billion, and Ebit to be in the range of USD 2.1 to 4.3 billion. This forecast remains subject to considerable uncertainty, as Hapag-Lloyd explains, given the ongoing war in Ukraine, and the other geopolitical conflicts, as well as the impacts of high inflation.

Hapag-Lloyd celebrated in 2022 its 175th anniversary with an Ebitda increase of €19.4 billion, Ebit of €17.5 billion and improvement in the company´s profits to €17 billion. The Group had an extraordinary annual result but the costs for fuel, charter vessels and container handling, have risen significantly.

As the top management explains this can mainly be attributed to an increase in the average freight rate to 2,863 USD/teu. However by the end of the year, the freight rate had significantly decreased due to easing congestion in ports and lower demand. Transport volumes remained on a par with the prior-year level, at 11.8 million teu in comparison with 11.9 million teu in 2021, due to the strained supply chains. At the same time, high inflation was clearly noticeable in the per-unit costs. Transport expenses rose by 18.5 percent, to €13.7 billion.

Furthermore, the Executive Board and Supervisory Board of Hapag-Lloyd have decided to propose, to the annual general meeting, that a dividend of €63 per share be paid out for the 2022 financial year, which corresponds to a total payout of €11.1 billion.