Maersk Slides to 3Q Net Loss After Booking Impairment Charge

By Ian Walker Features Dow Jones Newswires

A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S (MAERSK-B.KO) on Tuesday reported a slide to net loss for the third quarter of fiscal 2017 after booking a $1.75 billion impairment charge in Maersk Drilling, but said it expects a positive underlying profit for the year.

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The Danish shipping-and-oil conglomerate posted a net loss for the quarter of $1.56 billion compared with a profit of $429 million a year earlier. Revenue rose to $8.06 billion compared with $7.07 billion a year earlier.

Underlying profit, the company's preferred performance measure which strips out exceptional and other one-off items, rose to $248 million from a loss of $42 million a year earlier.

The company's Maersk Line unit, traditionally its biggest earner, made an underlying profit of $211 million for the quarter compared with a loss of $122 million a year earlier.

The world's biggest container-ship operator said a cyber attack in June impacted profit by $250 million to $300 million, with the Maersk Line hardest hit. It doesn't expect any impact in the fourth quarter. The attack brought down part of the company's computer system, with malware infecting networks used by its container businesses. That prompted system shutdowns that left some of its shipping terminals around the world unable to operate.

Maersk previously said it expected its underlying profit for the full year to beat the $711 million achieved in 2016. Maersk Line is expected to make an underlying profit of around $1 billion as it benefits from improvements in freight rates and partly increasing volumes. It previously expected this to be above $1 billion.

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Costas Paris contributed to this article.

Write to Ian Walker at ian.walker@wsj.com; @IanWalk40289749

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 07, 2017 02:58 ET (07:58 GMT)