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Hapag-Lloyd reports ‘extraordinarily strong result’

The headline on the news release says it all: Hapag-Lloyd achieves extraordinarily strong result in its anniversary year 2022.

According to the preliminary and unaudited figures released Tuesday, Hapag-Lloyd, which marked its 175th anniversary last year, had 2022 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $20.5 billion — $7.6 billion more than the $12.8 billion EBITDA of 2021. 

The gain in earnings before interest and taxes was equally as impressive. EBIT in 2022 totaled $18.5 billion, up $7.4 billion from $11.5 billion the prior year. The German ocean shipping company said the big increase could “primarily be attributed to higher freight rates” and noted the average freight rate increased by 43% year over year to $2,863 per twenty-foot equivalent unit from $2,003. Full-year transport volume was down slightly, from 11.9 million TEUs in 2021 to 11.8 million TEUs in ’22. 

Those higher freight rates led to year-over-year revenue growth of $10 billion. Hapag-Lloyd said 2022 revenue totaled $36.4 billion, compared to $26.4 billion in ’21.  

“However, already by the end of the year, the freight rate had significantly come back down as congestion eased and demand declined,” it noted. 

That decline was reflected in fourth-quarter revenue, which was down from $8.4 billion in 2021 to $8 billion in Q4 ’22. Fourth-quarter EBITDA and EBIT were also down year over year, from $4.7 billion to $3.8 billion and $4.2 billion to $3.3 billion, respectively. 

Hapag-Lloyd, the world’s fifth-largest ocean carrier, is slated to publish its 2022 annual report with audited financial figures and an outlook for ’23 on March 2. 

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Click here for more American Shipper/FreightWaves stories by Senior Editor Kim Link-Wills.