COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Danish container shipping and oil group A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S warned Monday that profits this year will likely come in lower than 2011.
The warning sent the company's share price down around 4 percent in early trading in Copenhagen despite a parallel announcement of a second straight annual profit in 2011.
Earning dropped 36 percent last year to 18.1 billion kroner ($3.3 billion) from 28.2 billion the year before, but the company still described its business as "fundamentally strong."
The company said the fall in profits was due to low container freight rates, especially on Asia-Europe routes.
Revenues for the year increased 2 percent to 322 billion kroner thanks to higher oil prices and container volumes.
In 2010 Maersk returned to profitability following a 7 billion kroner loss the previous year, when the shipping industry was hit by the severe economic downturn.
"We deliver an acceptable result for 2011 considering how the shipping rates developed during the year. Markets are volatile, but our businesses are fundamentally strong and competitive," the company's chief financial officer Trond Westlie said.
Maersk shares dropped 4.1 percent to 43,640 kroner ($7,891) in morning trading Monday.
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