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Maersk’s Soren Toft steps down

Copenaghen - Denmark’s Maersk said on Monday its Chief Operating Officer Soren Toft has decided to leave the company after two years at management level at the shipping group

Copenaghen - Denmark’s Maersk said on Monday its Chief Operating Officer Soren Toft has decided to leave the company after two years at management level at the shipping group. Toft’s responsibilities will temporarily be taken over by CEO Soren Skou, Maersk said.

Toft has been an advocate of the transition towards carbon neutrality. In his view, the only possible way to achieve decarbonization, is by transforming to new carbon neutral fuels and the industry has to develop new types of ships that will be crossing the seas in 2050.

On October the 21st, shares in A.P. Moller-Maersk had surged more than 7% after the Danish shipping company raised its expectations for 2019 profit despite headwinds from the U.S.-China trade war.

Maersk said it expected earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) in a range of $5.4 to $5.8 billion, up from its previous expectation of around $5 billion. The rest of the guidance was unchanged, it said.

The company in August warned that the trade war between the United States and China could curb container traffic this year.

“This definitely comes as a surprise to parts of the market, which thought Maersk might have moved in the other direction,” Nykredit analyst Ricky Rasmussen said. The upgrade came “despite slower global demand growth and lower freight rates” and was driven by “strong reliability and capacity management combined with lower fuel prices” and better margins in its terminal and towage business, Maersk said. Analysts had worried that Maersk’s unit costs - the cost of moving a 40-foot container - had been rising. “Maersk probably beats the rest of the market when it comes to profitability,” Rasmussen said.

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