Shipping group Maersk has today raised its 2022 profit guidance after beating second-quarter revenue expectations as congested global supply chains boosted freight rates.
The shipping industry has seen record profits in recent quarters on a surge in consumer demand and pandemic-related bottlenecks in US and Chinese ports which have prompted a spike in freight rates.
"Congestion in global supply chains leading to higher freight rates has continued longer than initially anticipated," the Copenhagen-based company said in a statement.
Maersk, often seen as a barometer for global trade, said it now expects underlying earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of around $37 billion compared to the $30 billion it forecast earlier.
The guidance is based on a gradual normalisation in ocean container shipping in the fourth quarter of this year. Its previous guidance was based on that happening early in the second half of the year.
Maersk, one of the world's biggest container shippers with a market share of around 17%, said in June that the cost of shipping goods was unlikely to abate anytime soon due to array of inflationary pressures.
Shares in Maersk opened 3.3% higher, trading at their highest level since early June, but down around 19% from an all-time high hit in mid-January.
Revenue in the second quarter stood at $21.7 billion, it said, above the $19.7 billion forecast by analysts in a poll gathered by the company.
Underlying EBITDA was $10.3 billion, compared to the $8.2 billion forecast by analysts.
"The strong result is driven by the continuation of the exceptional market situation within ocean (container shipping)," the company said.
Maersk is due to publish a full set of results for the second quarter on August 3.