A.P. Moller-Maersk says it plans to maintain its leading position in the shipping business, even as it increases investment in other sectors.
In a interview on CNN
on Thanksgiving Day, A.P. Moller - Maersk Group CEO Nils S. Andersen commented on the group’s strategy
, confirming his
commitment to remain the world leader in shipping.
“We are not going to give up our position as the leading shipping
company in the world,” Andersen said. “We will invest $6-8 billion in
the shipping business in the next five-year period.”
A report by the Singapore-headquartered investment bank UOB Kay Hian last week said a recent statement by Maersk Line that it plans to increase capital spending in businesses other than container shipping "may signal the industry bottoming out, and more delivery slippage will smoothen fleet growth in 2012-15 and hence create a healthier supply-demand equilibrium in 2013-14."
UOB said it believed it was "very likely" Maersk "will ask Daewoo Shipbuilding to defer deliveries" of the large 18,000 TEU Triple E container.
UOB forecasts that in 2013, 35,400 TEUs of new capacity has been canceled and 354,300 TEUs of capacity has been deferred, and in 2014, 20,800 TEUs has been cancelled and 208,200 TEUs has been deferred.
It said other companies announcing deferrals of ship deliveries, ranging from three months to a year, include CMA-CGM, OOCL, China Shipping, Yang Ming, and Zim.
UOB cited an interview in the Financial Times
that quoted Andersen as saying "we will move away from the shipping side of things and go toward the higher profit generators and more stable businesses" and characterized this as a "switch in strategy."
But Michael Storgaard, a Maersk spokesman, said there was "in fact nothing new."
A Maersk statement on its group strategy said "we are building a stronger group with four world class businesses within the oil and shipping businesses (Maersk Oil, Maersk Line, , APM Terminals and Maersk Drilling). The strategy, which was presented a year ago, is in line with our heritage of growth with focus on shipping and oil and gas.
"The overall aim is to create a more balanced group, with more stable earnings and increasing value for our shareholders," the company said.
"New investments will primarily be placed in Maersk Oil, APM Terminals and Maersk Drilling. For Maersk Line, our objective is to maintain our global leadership position – with primary focus on profitability. That entails growing with the market in the coming five years. Our recent investments in Triple-E, WAFMAX and SAMMAX vessels, many of which have not even been delivered yet, underscores the group’s commitment to Maersk Line," it added.
As to UOB's comments about delaying the Triple E ships, Storgaard said Maersk has a "policy of not commenting on speculation and rumors."
Shipping - both the container and tanker business - "is not the most profitable of the sectors we are in,” Andersen told CNN
, but he said
“we are not going to give up our position as the leading shipping company in the world. We will invest 6-8 billion USD in the shipping business in the next five-year period.”
He said the company has "orders on our books that will enable us to grow with the market.” - Chris Dupin