ANALYSTS WELCOME IMPROVED TRANSPARENCY AT A.P. MOLLER
Handelsbanken, a Danish stock market firm, said the ongoing transformation of the Danish A.P. Moller group into a more transparent company is a positive development.
Traditionally secretive A.P. Moller recently presented for the first time consolidated accounts for 2002, including information on the contribution from individual business segments.
Handelsbanken said in a recent investment report that the A.P. Moller’s first set of consolidated results “confirmed that the group is in great shape … and in a position to make attractive contra-cyclical investments.”
The group also disclosed it owns more than 6 percent of its own shares.
A.P. Moller revealed the scope of its container activities in the 2002 annual report, a fact that Handelsbanken described as “until now … one of the industry’s best-kept secrets.” The figures disclosed concern container shipping by Maersk Sealand, container terminal activities and Maersk Logistics. The figures did not identify the performance of Maersk Sealand separately.
“Using the industry as a reference point, we believe the terminal activities make a positive contribution, suggesting that Maersk Sealand might be in the red,” Handelsbanken said. However, the analyst said the container market is headed for a recovery.
Handelsbanken believes the recent jump in share price of the Danish group reflects a wider interest in the company. A.P. Moller has less than 5 percent of non-Danish investors, but the stock is “getting closer to being included in international indices,” it said.