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Maersk & P&O Nedlloyd in Talks

P&O Nedlloyd acknowledged speculation concerning a possible offer by A.P. Moller-Maersk notifying the Amsterdam Stock Exchange that, “[P&O Nedlloyd] is in discussions with A.P. Moller-Maersk regarding a possible combination of the companies.” The P&O announcement further stated, “There can be no certainty as to whether these discussions will result in an offer being made by A.P. Moller-Maersk for Royal P&O Nedlloyd.”

Maersk acknowledged the P&O announcement and said in an announcement to the Copenhagen Stock Exchange it “confirms that discussions are taking place. . ..”

P&O Nedlloyd, which was admitted to the Amsterdam Stock Exchange under the ticker RPONL in March 2005, reported 2004 operating profits of $401 million. Revenues were up 22% to $6.7 billion. The company said when the results were released that average freight rates increased 13% and its operating margins were 6%.

"This year [2004] has been one of major progress for Royal P&O Nedlloyd. The reverse listing was successfully completed, our container shipping business –P&O Nedlloyd – has been fully integrated into the group, and we can move forward as one team with a clear strategy focused on shareholder value,” said P&O Nedlloyd CEO Philip Green in the company’s annual report.

The company had also recently announced the christening of an 8,450 twenty-foot-equivalent unit (TEU) ship the P&O Nedlloyd Mondriaan.

A.P. Moller – Maersk Group reported $28 billion in net revenues for 2004. Increased container volumes and rates, along with higher rates for its tankers, helped it increase revenues by approximately 6% from 2003. Net revenue from container shipping and related activities were $16 billion. After taxes, Maersk reported $1.4 billion in container shipping and related revenues in 2004.

Among its expectations for 2005, Maersk said it anticipated a 6% lower U.S. dollar exchange rate but 5% to 10% higher revenues.

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