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A.P. Moller – Maersk has said that its supply chains remain open, despite the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, and it anticipates a year-on-year profit increase in the first quarter.

However, it said that the global COVID-19 pandemic was severely impacting the global transport market and supply chains and there was lack of visibility related to the global demand for container transport.

Maersk Line vessel alongside at DP World London Gateway

While it said that its global operations were running as normal it would be suspending the 2020 guidance on EBITDA pending more clarity on the market development and financial implications of COVID-19.

EBITDA for Q1 is expected to rise to $1.4 billion (Q1 2019: $1.24bn), primarily as a reduction in operational costs and fuel prices.

Chief executive Søren Skou said: “Because of the current situation with high uncertainties related to global container demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures being taken by governments to contain the outbreak, we have chosen to suspend our 2020 full year guidance on earnings but will as soon as we have more clarity return with an outlook for 2020.

“Ensuring the health and well-being of our employees and supporting our customer’s needs remain our number one priority”