Maersk cuts ’06 profit outlook

Moller-Maersk A/S, the world’s biggest container shipping company, cut its outlook for 2006 profits yesterday in part due to falling freight rates, sending its shares sharply lower.

Moller-Maersk said it expected net profit this year to fall 20 per cent from its 2005 result of 20.2 billion kroner (euro2.7 billion; US$3.4 billion). If not for the fact that Maersk is changing the way it accounts for depreciation, the drop would have been 40 per cent.

The downgrade came despite a slightly higher sales outlook for this year of around 270 billion kroner (euro36.2 billion; US$45.5 billion). In 2005, sales came to 209 billion kroner.