AP Møller-Mærsk has said that it expects an EBITDA before restructuring and integration costs for the second quarter (Q2) of 2020 slightly above the level for the first quarter (US$1.5bn).

This, the group said was based on market development, combined with cost measures across the organisation and significant blanked sailings in Ocean,

With current trading conditions, market demand in the second quarter is 'developing more favourably' than originally expected, with volumes downfall for APMM now anticipated to be in the range of -15 per cent to -18 per cent, compared to the initial guidance of -20 per cent to -25 per cent.

Given the uncertainty over demand recovery in the second half of 2020 with economies still impacted by Covid-19, the full-year guidance on earnings remains suspended.

“Despite an expected 15-18 per cent drop in demand due to Covid-19 during the second quarter, I am pleased that we expect to deliver operating earnings slightly above our operating earnings in the first quarter,' said Søren Skou, chief executive of Maersk. 'This also means we expect operating earnings to be higher than they were in the same quarter last year.

'We have been able to navigate well in a very difficult second quarter, adjusting capacity to demand to maintain high utilisation of our network and managing our cost across the company,' Skou continued. 'This quarter follows a first quarter where we also delivered year-on-year earnings growth despite 5 per cent lower demand and sharply increasing fuel cost as a result of the switch to low Sulphur fuel on 1 January.

'While uncertainty persist because of the pandemic and low visibility on the recovery path, we benefit from a more resilient Ocean-business.”