Moller-Maersk profit up as oil unit improves, shipping lags

Danish shipping and oil group A.P. Moller-Maersk says its first-quarter profit increased by 19.1 percent to $253 million, partly thanks to an improvement at the energy division.

Revenue of $8.96 billion was just higher than in the same period a year earlier.

Chief Executive Soeren Skou said the Maersk Oil unit delivered strong earnings but the core shipping business, Maersk Line, dropped to a $66 million loss in the first quarter, mainly due to an 80 percent increase in bunker prices.

Skou said "we reiterate our guidance for the year," adding the that Copenhagen-based group expected its underlying profit above the 2016 result of $11 million.

Maersk shares increased nearly 2 percent to 11,870 kroner in morning trading in Copenhagen.