June 17, 2020 / 2:59 PM / 15 days ago

UPDATE 1-Shipping firm Maersk says Q2 demand beats initial expectations

(Adds share price reaction)

COPENHAGEN, June 17 (Reuters) - A.P. Moller-Maersk , the world’s top container shipping firm, said on Wednesday that market demand was developing “more favourable than originally expected” in the second quarter, sending its shares up 7%.

The coronavirus crisis hit the container shipping trade as supply chains were upended and businesses and factory activity in China and later across the world was disrupted.

However Maersk, which handles one in every five containers shipped by sea worldwide, now expects volumes to fall 15-18% in the second quarter compared to a previous forecast for a 20-25% drop.

It expects second-quarter earnings before interest tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) and before restructuring and integration “slightly above” the $1.5 billion achieved in the first quarter.

Maersk will publish full second-quarter results on Aug 19. (Reporting by Stine Jacobsen; Editing by Edmund Blair, Kirsten Donovan)

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