Hapag-Lloyd has seen its third quarter profit more than double on the back of improved freight rates and increased liftings.

The German liner operator book net income of EUR 113.4m ($137m) against the EUR 51.8m seen a year ago, figures released Thursday show.

Revenue were 8.5% higher on a year-ago to just over EUR 3bn, while the volume of containers transported increased by a similar percentage to 3.05mteu.

Bunker prices rose by $95/tonne in the first nine months 2018 compared to the same period of 2017 and could not be fully offset by freight-rate increases in the third quarter, Hapag Lloyd said.

Meanwhile, a weaker average US dollar exchange rate against the Euro and significant upwards pressure on the operational costs were partly offset by synergies coming from the business combination with UASC and other saving measures, it added.

“We have seen a positive development in the third quarter and also ended on a positive group net result after nine months,” said chief executive Rolf Habben Jansen.

“Higher transport volumes, a better utilisation of our ships and the synergies from the recent merger with UASC have enabled us to partially offset rising operational costs.”

Jansen said the company remained “cautiously optimistic” for the rest of the year, despite the persistent upwards pressure on the operational costs.