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Business

Weak trade, oil price cut into Maersk's profits

Weakening global trade and falling oil prices have taken their toll on the world's largest shipping company, AP Moller-Maersk. Last year, the Danish conglomerate saw its profits tank and 2016 isn't looking any better.

AP Moller-Maersk, a Danish company with subsidiaries in oil, gas, shipping and container terminal operating sectors, said Wednesday its net profit for 2015 had fallen more than 80 percent to $925 million (819.4 million euros) as revenue fell 15 percent to $40.3 billion.

As anxiety over the health of the global economy caused companies and countries to trade less, Maersk said its container shipping business was expecting "significantly lower freight rates going into 2016."

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As the price of oil isn't expected to bounce back anytime soon, Maersk said a $2.6 billion depreciation of its oil and gas assets was in the cards.

With that in mind, the company warned that its underlying results this year could be "significantly below" those of 2015.

Last year, Maersk said it would

cut at least 4,000 jobs

and scrapped a plan to expand its fleet of container vessels to counter a slowdown in the international shipping sector.

cjc/hg (dpa, Reuters)

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