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Container Groups Defend $33.6 Billion In Dividends

The world’s two biggest container shipping companies who jacked up prices during COVID woes, have defended plans to shell out a combined A$33.67 billion in dividend payouts to shareholders.

Danish shipping giant AP Møller-Maersk and German rival Hapag-Lloyd will both pay more than 33 times the dividends paid in 2019, before the pandemic ushered in a glory period for the industry.

Both companies have also forecast a 70 per cent fall in profits for 2023, resulting in a disconnect that will see the combined payouts to shareholders sit at least 30 per cent higher than total earnings.

Maersk said its proposed dividend of A$16.01 billion was equivalent to 37.5 percent of its underlying profits for 2022 — “fully in line” with its history of payouts that sit between 30 and 50 per cent of earnings.

Hapag-Lloyd’s CFO Mark Frese, said its planned A$17.66 billion would still see the shipping giant maintain a net cash position.



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