By Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen
COPENHAGEN, May 5 (Reuters) - Maersk MAERSKb.CO said on Wednesday it expects an exceptionally strong performance in the first quarter to continue for the rest of the year, driven by high demand for shipping containers from China to the United States.
Strong demand led to bottlenecks as well as lack of capacity and equipment which drove up freight rates to record high levels, Chief Executive Soren Skou said in a statement.
Those factors prompted Maersk last week to raise its outlook for full-year underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to $13-15 billion from $8.5-10.5 billion.
It also lifted its forecast for global container demand growth to 5-7% from 3-5%.