Danish shipping and oil group A.P. Moller-Maersk reported a first-quarter net profit above forecast thanks to doubling of profit in container shipping business Maersk Line.
Net profit rose to $1.207 billion, Maersk said on Wednesday, beating an average forecast of $1.072 billion in a Reuters poll of analysts.
It reiterated its overall group outlook for the full year to be significantly above the 2013 result of $3.8 billion, hit by the sale of retail unit Dansk Supermarked Group, but raised its outlook for Maersk Line to beat last year's $1.5 billion.
Moller-Maersk also said on Wednesday it expected the so-called P3 container shipping alliance to start operations in autumn and not in the second quarter as previously expected.
"We are waiting for regulatory approval in several countries," chief executive Nils Smedegaard Andersen told reporters on a media teleconference.
Maersk Line, the container shipping unit in A.P. Moller-Maersk, Switzerland-based MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A and France's CMA CGM announced the alliance last year.
They already have regulatory approval in the United States but are still waiting for approvals in China and many other countries.