HAMBURG: Hapag-Lloyd achieved a significantly higher operating result (EBIT) for the full year 2017. Based on the preliminary unaudited figures, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) climbed up to EUR 1,055 million (2016: EUR 607 million) and the operating result before interest and taxes (EBIT) increased significantly to EUR 411 million (2016: EUR 126 million) in 2017. The EBITDA margin grew to 10.6% compared to 7.9% in 2016. Besides a positive development of the worldwide container transport volume and a slight recovery of freight rates, this development was mainly driven by the merger with the United Arab Shipping Company Ltd. (UASC). In the 4th Quarter 2017 EBITDA increased to EUR 333 million (Q4 2016: EUR 226 million) and EBIT to EUR 143 million (Q4 2016: EUR 101 million).
Revenues increased to EUR 10.0 billion (2016: EUR 7.7 billion), also supported by an improved average freight rate in 2017 of 1,051 USD/TEU (2016: 1,036 USD/TEU). At the same time, Hapag-Lloyd increased the transport volume significantly by 29.0% to 9.8 million TEU (2016: 7.6 million TEU) whilst transport expenses increased by 25.5% to EUR 8.0 billion (2016: EUR 6.4 billion), mainly driven by the increase in transport volumes and a higher average bunker consumption price of USD 318/tonne (2016: USD 226/tonne). The average exchange rate was at 1.13 USD/EUR compared to 1.10 USD/EUR in 2016.
As of 31 December 2017, Hapag-Lloyd had EUR 6.1 billion (2016: EUR 5.1 billion) in equity and a liquidity reserve (cash, cash equivalents and unused credit facilities) of EUR 1.1 billion (2016: EUR 0.8 billion). The equity development was also driven by the merger with UASC as well as a capital increase of EUR 352 million that was successfully completed in October 2017. Net debt amounted to EUR 5.7 billion (2016: EUR 3.6 billion).