TUI Hikes Hapag-Lloyd Profit Forecast

TUI Hikes Hapag-Lloyd Profit Forecast

TUI AG expects its 43.3 percent stake in Germany's biggest ocean carrier Hapag-Lloyd to generate higher profit than initially forecast due to a "notable" recovery in global container shipping.

"Transport volumes and in particular freight rates have continually improved over recent months and are considerably up year-on-year," TUI said in a statement.

TUI, a holding company that also owns Europe's biggest tourism operator, said it now expects Hapag-Lloyd to post "significantly positive" underlying operating earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization.

In mid-May Hanover-based TUI said it expected continued stability in container shipping and predicted a positive equity contribution from Hapag-Lloyd.

In February TUI said it expected Hapag-Lloyd to remain in the red through 2010.

Hapag-Lloyd booked a first quarter operating profit of $17.4 million against a year-earlier loss of $282 million as revenue grew 13.4 percent to $1.6 billion from $1.42 billion.

The Hamburg-based Albert Ballin consortium owns the remaining 56.7 percent of Hapag-Lloyd.

-- Contact Bruce Barnard at brucebarnard47@hotmail.com.