AP Moller-Maersk boasted its first quarter of revenue growth in more than two years but the Danish conglomerate’s container shipping business continued to lose money.

Revenues at Maersk increase by 5 per cent to $9bn in the first quarter compared with a year earlier, their first rise since the third quarter of 2014.

Still, the Danish conglomerate – which is looking to sell or spin off its energy assets – is still struggling with weak performance at Maersk Line, the world’s largest container shipping company.

It suffered a loss of $66m in the quarter compared with a $37m profit a year earlier.

Analysts had expected a profit from Maersk Line after a recovery in freight rates from record low. But it was held back by an 80 per cent increase in fuel costs.

Maersk reiterated its full-year guidance of an increase in underlying profits over last year and that Maersk Line’s profits should be more than $1bn higher than the $384m loss last year.

Soren Skou, Maersk’s chief executive, said:

Whilst we cannot be satisfied with the overall profitability in the first quarter, the result is as expected and we reiterate our guidance for the year for the Group.

We delivered year-on-year revenue growth for the first time since Q3 2014 in line with our ambitions to become a growth company again.

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