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From the Jamaica Observer.!

Moller-Maersk A/S, the world's biggest container shipping company, cut its outlook for 2006 profits yesterday in part due to falling freight rates, sending its shares sharply lower.

Moller-Maersk said it expected net profit this year to fall 20 per cent from its 2005 result of 20.2 billion kroner (euro2.7 billion; US$3.4 billion). If not for the fact that Maersk is changing the way it accounts for depreciation, the drop would have been 40 per cent.

The downgrade came despite a slightly higher sales outlook for this year of around 270 billion kroner (euro36.2 billion; US$45.5 billion). In 2005, sales came to 209 billion kroner.

Maersk said in March that it expected a net profit 10 per cent to 15 per cent lower than last year because of falling freight rates, rising fuel prices and the integration of Netherlands-based Royal P&O Nedlloyd, which Maersk acquired in 2005.

"It's pretty much the perfect storm," said Credit Agricole Cheuvreux analyst David Hallden, who said he would remain positive towards the share as the company is adopting international accounting standards by changing its depreciation methods.

Moller-Maersk's shares fell 9.1 per cent to close at 43,000 kroner (euro5,767; US$7,244) on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange.
The group also said yesterday that it had named Soeren Thorup Soerensen to be chief financial officer to replace Eivind Kolding, who will become joint chief executive for the AP Moller-Maersk Group's container business.

The group operates Maersk-Sealand, a shipyard in Denmark, supermarkets and holds the rights for oil and gas exploration in Denmark's North Sea continental shelf.
The foundation behind the AP Moller-Maersk group is controlled by Maersk Mc-Kinney Moeller, one of Denmark's wealthiest men.

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