Maersk Posts Surprise Loss, Warns of Cyberattack Impact

AP Moller Maersk expects $200-300m hit to full year earnings from cyber-attack

AP Moller Maersk expects $200-300m hit to full year earnings from cyber-attack

The impact of the cyber attack was mainly in Maersk Line and a negative result is expected at a level of 200 to 300 million dollars, the company said.

"The profit was $490m higher than the same quarter previous year, based on higher rates", said group chief executive Søren Skou.

The loss, which is mainly attributed to a post-tax impairment of 732 million dollars primarily relating to lower asset valuations in Maersk Tankers and a few terminals in APM Terminals, compares with the 118 million dollars net profit it reported for the same period past year, according to its interim financial report.

Skou said the container shipping industry was showing signs of recovery this year as freight rates started to rise and the shipping businesses fundamentals were the strongest seen since 2010.

On a positive note, the underlying second-quarter profit improved from $134 million to $389 million with Maersk Line contributing with an underlying profit of $327 million. In its second quarter, the company slipped to a loss, compared to profit previous year, despite higher revenues.

The boost was mainly driven by a 22-percent increase in the average freight rate, and partly by a 1.7-percent increase in volumes, according to the report.

The company says the June 27 malware attack was distributed through Ukrainian accounting software with backdoors into networks of users. The vast majority of the impact of the cyber-attack was in Maersk Line. On June 29, Maersk Line was able to accept bookings from customers with existing accounts.

Shipping giant Maersk said today it still expects full-year underlying profit to top last year's, despite the fact it will take a financial hit of up to $300m (£233m) from a massive cyber attack in June. Maersk Line took over Hamburg Süd, Hapag-Lloyd took over two competitors, CMA CGM took over NOL and there were various fusions between Japanese and Chinese shipping companies.

Further, gross capital expenditure for 2017 is still expected to be $5.5 billion to $6.5 billion, higher than last year's $5.0 billion.

Maersk shares increased almost 0.8 percent to 13,180 kroner in morning trading in Copenhagen.

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