Hit by sharp declines in freight rates and the oil price, Danish shipping and oil group A.P. Moller-Maersk says it turned a $2.5 billion loss in the fourth quarter, a big turnaround from the previous year's profit of $189 million in the equivalent period.

The company said it reduced the value of some of its oil assets by $2.6 billion in light of the sharp fall in the price of oil over the past year. It also said it expects the oil price to remain low for a longer period, and that this year's result would be "significantly below" 2015.

Still, CEO Nils Smedegaard Andersen said Wednesday he was satisfied with what he described as a good operational performance over the full year as all sectors delivered "positive underlying profits."