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Release Date:
Release ID: 5006

Hapag-Lloyd back on secure heading in the current 2010 financial year

In the first three quarters of 2010 the global economy and world trade recovered more quickly than expected from the severe global crisis. The driving economic forces behind this development were China and a number of emerging markets. Hapag-Lloyd also benefited from the recovery in container shipping that occurred as a direct result.

In the third quarter of 2010 revenue for “Albert Ballin” Holding rose by 68.5% to EUR 1,781.2 million. In the first nine months of 2010, the Group generated aggregate revenue of EUR 4,669.7 million. Operating earnings (EBIT) improved in the third quarter of 2010 by EUR 448.1 million to EUR 263.6 million (from EUR -184.5 million in the same quarter a year ago). Altogether, the Group achieved an EBIT of EUR 506.0 million in the first three quarters of 2010.

“After sustaining heavy losses last year, the first nine months of this year have seen the best result in the history of our Company. This development stems from freight rates well above last year’s, greater transport volumes and significant cost savings,” emphasised Michael Behrendt, Chairman of the Executive Board of Hapag-Lloyd AG. “However, it is in particular also thanks to the joint effort made by all of the Group’s staff over the past 24 months.”

As a result of the first-time consolidation of Hapag-Lloyd as at 31 March 2009, its operating activity is included in the previous year’s interim financial statements for the period from 1 April to 30 September 2009. Comparison with the cumulative profit and loss statement is therefore possible only to a limited extent.

On a cumulative basis for the first three quarters of 2010, Hapag-Lloyd transported a total of 3.7 million TEU, an increase of 235,000 TEU on the first three quarters of last year. The majority of the shipping areas contributed to this growth in transport volumes.

In the first nine months of 2010 the average freight rate went up to 1,547 USD/TEU, which was 326 USD/TEU higher (+26.7%) than in the corresponding period of the previous year. This performance was primarily due to increases in freight rates in the first two quarters of the year and to peak-season surcharges.

Compared with 31 December 2009, cash and cash equivalents have more than doubled as at 30 September 2010, rising by EUR 440.3 million to EUR 853.6 million. The main reason for the increase was cash flow of EUR 454.4 million from operating activities.

Net debt (financial liabilities less cash and cash equivalents) fell by 41.2% to EUR 746.4 million as at 30 September 2010, compared with EUR 1,268.7 million as at 31 December 2009.

As at 30 September 2010 equity came to EUR 3,666.7 million, compared with EUR 2,765.5 million as at 31 December 2009, an increase of one third. In addition to the result for the first nine months, the improvement is largely due to the conversion into equity of EUR 353 million in shareholder loans. The equity ratio increased to 56%, compared with 49% as at 31 December 2009.

As at 30 September 2010, 6,903 people were employed at Hapag-Lloyd (previous year: 6,999). The change on last year stems from two opposing effects. The number of employees in the marine division increased primarily as a result of new vessels being commissioned, and the measures to cut costs and increase efficiency that had been initiated led to an overall reduction of 187 in employee numbers in the land division.
Significant events after the balance sheet date

On 1 October Hapag-Lloyd signed a contract for a revolving line of credit totalling USD 360 million.

The amount of EUR 229.3 million including interest and fees that had been deferred under the standstill agreement was repaid on 6 October following the suspension of the agreement on 22 September 2010.

In early October Hapag-Lloyd issued a fixed-interest bond for USD 250 million (maturing in 2017) as well as another bond for EUR 330 million (maturing in 2015), followed by a further issue for EUR 150 million (maturing in 2015) at the end of October 2010.

In addition, Hapag-Lloyd repaid a bridging loan from TUI for EUR 226.2 million on 2 November 2010.

From now on, Hapag-Lloyd will present regular quarterly and annual financial reports for its 100% shareholder.

More information and details on the performance of “Albert Ballin” Holding can be found in the interim Group report for Q3 / 9M 2010, which can be downloaded from the Investor Relations page.

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