Moller-Maersk shipping company sees Q4 earnings reach nearly $1BN on improved rates

COPENHAGEN – Denmark’s shipping and oil group A.P. Moller-Maersk says its fourth-quarter earnings reached 5.5 billion kroner ($975 million) thanks to improved rates and unit costs in its container unit, which is the world’s largest.

The Copenhagen-based group, owner of the Maersk Line, says revenue for the three-month period ticked up nearly 3 per cent on an annual basis to 84.8 billion kroner ($15 billion).

Maersk, which is seen as a bellwether for international trade, says full-year profits for 2012 rose 6 per cent to 342 billion kroner ($60 billion), while revenue soared 23 per cent to 23.4 billion kroner.

CEO Nils S. Andersen described the result as “satisfactory” in a Friday statement, though he said there was uncertainty for this year due to slow growth and overcapacity in the shipping industry.