AP Moller-Maersk Reports $1.5 Billion Loss in Third Quarter

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Danish shipping and oil group AP Moller-Maersk reported a third-quarter net loss of $1.5 billion, the firm said Nov. 7, citing write-downs in its drilling division and costs from a cyberattack.

The loss compared to a net profit of $438 million in the same period in 2016.

Turnover in the quarter rose 14% year-on-year to $8 billion, the conglomerate said.

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Higher freight rates — that were up 14% year-over-year — helped lift results for Maersk Line, the world’s biggest container shipping company.

Maersk Line’s container fleet numbered 668 vessels at the end of September, of which 383 were chartered.

The conglomerate expected to sell its drilling division in the coming 12-month period. The unit was therefore designated as discontinued, with a $1.75-billion write-down.

A write-down of $347 million was also booked for port operator Maersk Terminals over challenging conditions in some markets.

Chief executive Soren Skou said that Maersk was on track with its strategy unveiled last year to focus on transport and logistics.

Moller-Maersk was among a number of companies in Europe and the United States affected by a ransomware virus attack at the end of June.

The firm estimated the cyberattack’s costs, which mainly affected Maersk Line, at $250 million to $300 million in lost business during the third quarter.

The acquisition of German rival Hamburg Sued, the world’s seventh-largest container shipper, was expected to be completed by the end of the year, the firm said.

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