November 17, 2020 2:00 PM, EST

Maersk Raises Guidance for Second Time in as Many Months

An automated crane carries a Maersk shipping container away from dockside at London Gateway Port.Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg News

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A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S raised its guidance for a second time since October as the world’s biggest container shipping company enjoys stronger demand than originally projected amid the COVID crisis.

Copenhagen-based Maersk expects Ebitda before restructuring and integration costs this year to be in a range of $8 billion to $8.5 billion, it said in a statement Nov. 17. By that measure, it had previously guided for profit of $7.5 billion to $8 billion.

The company transports about one-fifth of the world’s containers, giving it a unique view of the state of global trade. It reported preliminary third-quarter earnings in October, when it cited a “continued recovery in demand.”

RELATED: Maersk Raises Outlook as Shipping Giant Sees Demand Rebound

In the Nov. 17 announcement, Maersk said that “the trading conditions and the outlook remain subject to a higher-than-normal volatility given the disruptions caused or potentially being caused by COVID-19.”

The outlook for global trade and the world economy hangs in the balance as the pandemic cements its grip across the northern hemisphere. At the same time, scientists are moving closer than ever to developing a vaccine, potentially laying the foundation for an economic rebound in 2021.

Meanwhile, Maersk is trimming its organization to adapt to the challenges it faces. The company plans to take restructuring costs of around $100 million in the third quarter related to around 2,000 job cuts, as it reorganizes its ocean and logistics and services operations.

Maersk is due to publish full third-quarter results Nov. 18. The company’s shares have gained about 20% this year.

The Maersk Group ranks No. 4 on the Transport Topics Top 50 list of the largest global freight carriers.

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