'Despite the coronavirus pandemic, we have got the year off to a good start,' said Hapag-Lloyd CEO Rolf Habben Jansen.
'Higher transport volumes and better freight rates boosted our revenues. The result is below the first quarter of the previous year as we faced higher bunker prices after the new IMO 2020 rules came into force in January,' he said.
Cash flow was once again clearly positive at EUR274 million, he said. At the end of the first quarter, the liquidity reserve stood at EUR1.1 billion, remaining at a persistently good level.
Said Mr Habben Jansen: 'Although we were able to pick up a bit of tailwind at the beginning of the year, we anticipate that the coronavirus pandemic will have very significant impacts in 2020, beginning in the second quarter.
'We will adjust our service network to the lower demand and seek savings in all cost categories, from terminal, transport, equipment and network costs to overhead,' he said.
With a fleet of 248 containerships and a capacity of 1.7 million TEU, Hapag-Lloyd has 13,000 employees and 394 offices in 129 countries. Hapag-Lloyd is one of the leading operators in the transatlantic, Middle East, Latin America and intra-America trades.