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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Denmark's shipping company AP Moller-Maersk sees Q4 profit drops amid lower freight rates

COPENHAGEN - Danish shipping and oil group A.P. Moller-Maersk says fourth-quarter profits fell 7.5 per cent because of a fall in oil production and lower freight rates.

The Copenhagen-based group said Thursday its fourth-quarter net profit dropped to 5.1 billion kroner ($936 million) from 5.5 billion kroner a year earlier. And revenue for the three-month period fell by nearly 6 per cent to 65.7 billion kroner.

Even so, CEO Nils S. Andersen said he was "pleased" with the results and noted that Maersk Line lifted profits "despite challenging shipping markets."

The group expects profits this year to be "significantly above" 2013 as a result of the sale of a majority stake in a Danish retail group.

It also raised its dividend to 1,400 kronor per share from 1,200 kronor last year.

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