Maersk shipping group continues to buy after strong profits


COPENHAGEN, Aug.6 (Reuters) – Maersk (MAERSKb.CO) on Friday announced it had bought two e-commerce companies and said more acquisitions were to come as the world’s largest container shipping company stepped up its bet on land services.

Maersk, which handles one in five containers shipped globally, aims to expand its onshore logistics services, hoping to acquire a greater share of the supply chain from existing shipping customers such as Puma (PUMG .DE) and Walmart (WMT.N).

It bought Visible Supply Chain Management and B2C Europe, both of which specialize in e-commerce, for a combined enterprise value of $ 924 million, Maersk said.

“It won’t be long before we have a logistics company with $ 10 billion in (annual) revenues from these two acquisitions,” Managing Director Soren Skou told reporters.

While container shipping, which accounted for 73% of turnover last year, will continue to be the focus of the business, inland services such as shipments from factories, customs and warehousing will be its growth engine.

Sea containers are transported on a Maersk Line vessel via the Suez Canal to Ismailia, Egypt on July 7, 2021. REUTERS / Amr Abdallah Dalsh

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Skou said further acquisitions are expected in the coming quarters, adding that he is particularly interested in small and medium-sized air cargo, warehousing and distribution companies in Latin America and Europe.

Maersk also confirmed on Friday a 60% increase in second-quarter revenue and a tripling of its quarterly basic profit announced in a preliminary business report earlier this week, when it raised its profit outlook for 2021. Read more following

The pandemic has caused shortages of container ships and congestion at ports at a time of very high consumer spending that has driven freight rates to record levels.

“The results benefited both from the exceptional circumstances in the ocean, where congestion and bottlenecks continued to drive rates up, and solid progress in executing our strategic transformation,” said the CEO Soren Skou.

“The outlook for the third quarter is good and we expect Ocean’s current momentum to continue into the fourth quarter,” he said.

Its shares, which rose about 30% this year, traded flat on Friday.

Reporting by Stine Jacobsen; edited by Jason Neely and David Evans

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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