German ocean carrier Hamburg Süd today ruled out an early revival of stalled merger talks with its rival Hapag-Lloyd as it announced a modest improvement in its 2012 results.
“No agreement has been reached on important points to date. A resumption (of talks) is unforeseeable at this time,” the family-owned carrier said in a statement.
The two German lines suspended negotiations in late March after failing to agree on the ownership structure of a merged carrier that would be the world’s fourth largest.
The city of Hamburg, where both carriers are based and which owns 37 percent of Hapag-Lloyd, has urged a resumption of negotiations to create a German line that can compete with the world’s biggest carriers.
Hamburg Süd said its liner shipping unit boosted revenue by 16 percent in 2012 from the previous year to approximately €4.6 billion ($5.94 billion) and increased traffic by 4 percent, roughly in line with market growth, to 3.3 million 20-foot-equivalent units.
Total shipping revenue, which includes tankers and product carriers, grew about 15 percent to €5.5 billion ($7.1 billion).
Hamburg Süd, which is owned by the food-to-insurance Oetker group, did not publish a 2012 profit/loss figure.
The company said it expects its liner division to beat the 2012 result but tramp shipping will post a “similarly unsatisfactory” result.
Separately, German tourism group TUI said it expects to dispose of its 22 percent stake in Hapag-Lloyd via an initial public offering rather than a trade sale.
Chief executive Friedrich Joussen said he would have preferred a merger of Hapag-Lloyd and Hamburg Süd rather than waiting for the right conditions in the capital markets for an IPO.