Hapag-Lloyd expects Q1 operating profit to more than triple

BERLIN, Feb 16 (Reuters) - Germany’s Hapag-Lloyd sees its first-quarter operating profit more than tripling to at least 1.5 billion euros ($1.81 billion) thanks to strong demand for container transportation amid the coronavirus pandemic, it said on Tuesday.

The company expects demand for seaborne shipments normalising over the course of the year.

“We are still seeing slower container turn times, significant congestion in ports around the globe, capacity constraints in rail and truck, and the risks of the coronavirus pandemic remain,” Chief Executive Rolf Habben said.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the year as a whole should nonetheless “clearly surpass” the 2020 level, which stood around 2.7 billion euros.

$1 = 0.8265 euros Reporting by Kirsti Knolle; Editing by Maria Sheahan