June 29, 2018 / 9:59 AM / 2 years ago

Hapag-Lloyd slashes profit forecast as freight rates struggle to recover

FILE PHOTO: A port worker moves a Hapag-Lloyd container at the Port of Bilbao on the second day of a three-day strike by Spanish port workers to protest the reform of operations, aimed at liberalising hiring practices, in Santurtzi, northern Spain, June 7, 2017. REUTERS/Vincent West/File Photo

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German container shipping line Hapag-Lloyd (HLAG.DE) slashed its full-year profit forecast, saying that freight rates had recovered more slowly than expected while fuel and charter costs had ballooned.

“These developments cannot be fully offset by cost saving measures that have already been initiated,” it said on Friday.

Its stock plummeted 18 percent to 29.44 euros, their lowest level in more than three months.

It said it now saw 2018 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) coming to between 900 million and 1.15 billion euros ($1.05-1.34 billion), compared with 1.05 billion in 2017.

It had previously said it saw EBITDA rising this year.

($1 = 0.8581 euros)

Reporting by Maria Sheahan, editing by Louise Heavens

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