UPDATE 1-Hapag-Lloyd sees better market, lower costs boosting 2016 EBIT
* Bets on freight rate recovery
* Market to benefit from mergers
* Adds another cost saving programme (Adds details from news conference, share price)
HAMBURG, March 23 (Reuters) - German container shipping group Hapag-Lloyd said it expected a clear increase in operating profit (EBIT) this year thanks to a market recovery, ongoing synergies from its merger with Chilean sector peer CSAV and cost-cutting programmes.
"We believe that the ongoing consolidation and the upcoming new alliance set-up should add stability to the market, and that there will be some recovery of the market," Chief Executive Rolf Habben Jansen told a news conference on Wednesday.
Hapag-Lloyd posted a 2015 net profit of 114 million euros $127.5 million), which was up from a 2014 loss of 604 million and the first positive result since 2010.
The company's earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) had swung to a 366 million euro profit in 2015, from a year-earlier loss of 383 million.
The company forecast 2016 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to be up moderately compared with 2015's 831 million euros.
Having merged with Compania Sud Americana de Vapores (CSAV) in December 2014, it reaps $400 million a year in synergy savings, and in addition launched a series of cost savings programmes. Continuación...