Last updated: August 25, 2011 8:38 pm

DP World buoyed by strong container trade

  • Share
  • Print
  • Clip
  • Gift Article
  • Comments

Dubai’s DP World, one of the largest container terminal operators, underlined the continued strong growth in many markets on Thursday when it announced first-half container volumes up 11 per cent on last year and underlying net profit close to record 2008 levels.

DP World’s announcement struck a very different note from recent announcements by its container shipping line customers, many of which slipped into loss in the first half as a worldwide ship surplus hit earnings.

However, DP World warned that, because of the uncertainty over the economic outlook, it was more difficult than normal to forecast how trade would develop in the second half of the year, which is normally stronger than the first half.

Mohammed Sharaf, chief executive, said the company had not yet seen any fall-off in growth through its terminals, with the exception of Aden in Yemen and Sokhna in Egypt, both affected by civil upheaval.

“Everybody is over 2010 volumes, with the exception of the Arab Spring areas,” Mr Sharaf said. “We think world trade is doing well. The growth is there – the volumes have increased while capacity is under constraint.”

DP World is more heavily focused than other big container terminal operators on emerging markets such as Africa and Latin America than the mature European and North American markets. Because emerging markets were not yet suffering from the worldwide uncertainty, the company still expected to report full-year results in line with expectations, DP World said.

Container throughput at all terminals where DP World owns a stake rose 11 per cent to 26.2m 20-foot equivalent units compared with the first half of 2010, producing net profit before exceptional items up 36 per cent to $281m.

Revenue grew more modestly, by 3 per cent, to $1.5bn as a result of the deconsolidation in the results of the company’s Australian terminals, in which it sold a 75 per cent stake to Citi Infrastructure Investors in March.

After the effect of the exceptional items – mainly the Australian stake sale – net profit rose from $219m last time to $741m.

Throughput in the key United Arab Emirates region – which includes DP World’s busiest terminal at Jebel Ali in Dubai – rose 11 per cent for the half to 6.1m TEUs, contributing to 7 per cent growth for the Europe, Middle East and Africa region to 9.04m TEUs. Volumes in the Asia-Pacific and Indian subcontinent region grew 4 per cent to 2.77m TEUs.

DP World’s shares rose 7½p in London to 645p.

Related Topics

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2016. You may share using our article tools.
Please don't cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.

  • Share
  • Print
  • Clip
  • Gift Article
  • Comments

NEWS BY EMAIL

Sign up for email briefings to stay up to date on topics you are interested in

SHARE THIS QUOTE