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Maersk slumps to only its second annual loss in seven decades

Excerpts from the Financial Times:

Shares in Maersk fell as much as 7 per cent on Wednesday as it reported only its second annual loss in seven decades and halved its dividend to try to protect its investment grade credit rating.

Maersk recorded a net loss of $1.9bn for 2016, compared with analysts’ expectations of a $960m profit, as it booked impairments of $2.7bn on its oil rig and supply services units.

Soren Skou, chief executive, said Maersk Line, which is in the middle of buying German rival Hamburg Sud, won market share from competitors throughout the year and was well placed to benefit from an anticipated recovery in the container shipping industry. He forecast an improvement of at least $1bn in Maersk Line’s profit this year.

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