Strategy & Outlook

The prime objective of the Hapag-Lloyd Group is to achieve long-term profitable growth. Developments in the Group’s transport volume and the operating performance indicators EBITDA and EBIT serve as the basis for measuring whether the corporate objectives are met. Hapag-Lloyd aims to benefit from the market opportunities for organic growth while also strategically protecting its leading competitive position by utilizing measures to increase its value in the context of consolidation within the industry.

To make use of external growth opportunities, a business combination agreement regarding the merging of container activities was signed with the United Arab Shipping Company SAG (UASC) on 15 July 2016.

The growing global demand for container transportation is the very foundation of the organic growth which
Hapag-Lloyd hopes to achieve. IHS Global Insight (February 2017) has forecast a rise in global container shipments of 3.7% to around 137 million TEU in 2017 and a further 4.9% to approximately 144 million TEU in 2018. Hapag-Lloyd intends to increase the transport volume organically in line with market growth.

Five strategic projects have been implemented in the last few years to improve efficiency and cost structures. Hapag-Lloyd’s aim is to improve its profitability, based on the increasing effectiveness of the strategic measures. From 2017 onwards, the CUATRO and OCTAVE projects are expected to deliver annual synergies, efficiency improvements and cost savings totaling USD 600.0 million as against the comparable cost base in the 2014 financial year and assuming that external factors remain
the same. The planned efficiency improvements associated with the CUATRO and OCTAVE projects were implemented in full in the first quarter of 2017.

Hapag-Lloyd should be able to sustainably improve its profitability in the years after 2017 by fully exploiting the synergies from the original efficiency improvement and cost reduction programmes, additional cost savings and efficiency improvements, expected growth in volumes and an improvement in revenue quality.

The key developments in the 2017 financial year will be the completion of the transaction and the integration of UASC’s activities into the Hapag-Lloyd Group as well as the operational launch of the new THE Alliance.

Hapag-Lloyd will publish an update on the medium-term income targets following completion of the integration. The
synergies from the merger with UASC should contribute USD 435 million from the 2019 financial year onwards.

Key benchmark figures for the 2017 outlook Outlook
Global economic growth (IMF) +3.5%
Increase in global trade (IMF)
Increase in global container transport volume (IHS) +3.7%
Transport volume, Hapag-Lloyd Group
Increasing moderately
Average bunker consumption, Hapag-Lloyd Group Increasing clearly
Average freight rate, Hapag-Lloyd Group Increasing moderately
EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation), Hapag-Lloyd Group Increasing clearly
EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes), Hapag-Lloyd Group Increasing clearly


The revenue and earnings forecast is based on the assumption of unchanged exchange rates.

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