DP World first quar­ter shows trade pick up

Con­tainer vol­umes up on Amer­i­cas and Aus­tralia growth

The National - News - Business - - The region - Lucy Barnard [email protected]­ational.ae

Ports oper­a­tor DP World re­ported a 5 per cent in­crease in gross con­tainer vol­umes on a like for like ba­sis in the first three months of the year as the com­pany re­ported a “grad­ual im­prove­ment in the mar­ket en­vi­ron­ment.” The Dubai-head­quar­tered com­pany said that its ter­mi­nals around the world han­dled 16.4 mil­lion twenty-foot equiv­a­lent units be­tween Jan­uary and March com­pared with 15.5 mil­lion units a year ear­lier.

Like-for-like sales do not in­clude vol­umes at Yarimca in Turkey, Saint John in Canada and Ber­bera in So­ma­liland, which have only re­cently opened.

DP World said that gross con­tainer vol­umes grew by 5.7 per cent year-on-year on a re­ported ba­sis, ahead of the in­dus­try es­ti­mate of 2.6 per cent through­put growth for the first quar­ter of the year. The in­vest­ment bank EFG Her­mes said the num­bers came in ahead of its es­ti­mates.

DP World said that like-for-like cargo vol­umes in the first quar­ter in­creased by the great­est amount in its Amer­i­cas and Aus­tralia divi­sion where they rose by 6.5 per cent year on year to 2 mil­lion units. In Asia Pa­cific and the In­dian sub­con­ti­nent vol­umes grew by 5.8 per cent to 7.6 mil­lion units. Like-for-like cargo vol­umes for DP World’s Europe, the Mid­dle East and Africa divi­sion in­creased 3.6 per cent to 6.7 mil­lion units.

DP World said that its Jebel Ali op­er­a­tion, which in the last three months of 2016 had vol­umes fall slightly, in­creased 1.8 per cent in the first quar­ter of 2017 to 3.7 mil­lion units.

“There are signs of a grad­ual im­prove­ment in the mar­ket en­vi­ron­ment in 2017 and our port­fo­lio has had an en­cour­ag­ing start to the year de­liv­er­ing ahead-of-mar­ket growth,” said Sul­tan Bin Su­layem, DP World’s chair­man and chief ex­ec­u­tive. “The ro­bust per­for­mance was de­liv­ered across all three re­gions, which once again demon­strates that we have the rel­e­vant ca­pac­ity in the right markets.”

UAE gross vol­umes in­creased by 1.8 per cent in the pe­riod to 3.7 mil­lion units.

“We are pleased to see vol­umes re­cov­er­ing in the Amer­i­cas while our new ter­mi­nals in Europe con­tinue to de­liver growth. En­cour­ag­ingly, UAE vol­umes have sta­bilised and as we move through 2017, we con­tinue to ex­pect our new de­vel­op­ments in Rot­ter­dam, Nhava Sheva, Lon­don Gate­way and Yarimca to drive growth in our port­fo­lio,” Mr Bin Su­layem said.

Last month, DP World re­ported a 27.6 per cent in­crease in profit for 2016 – partly due to a strength­en­ing of the US dol­lar. The com­pany said that on a like­for-like con­stant cur­rency ba­sis profit in­creased 6.2 per cent.

At the time, Mr Bin Su­layem said that he ex­pected growth in the low sin­gle dig­its in 2017, partly due to the im­proved for­tunes of ship­ping lines, many of which posted “ter­ri­ble” re­sults in 2016 due to the slow­ing world econ­omy.

Is­abel In­fantes / AFP

Ship­ping con­tain­ers sit on the docks at DP World’s Lon­don Gate­way con­tainer port.

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