Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 7 December 2019

DP World says second quarter-container volume climbed despite weaker global economy

The company records strong performance across the Asia Pacific and Indian subcontinent region

DP World has been on an investment spree in the last 18 months. Bloomberg.
DP World has been on an investment spree in the last 18 months. Bloomberg.

Global ports operator DP World said volumes at its container terminals rose in the second quarter of this year, backed by growth in Asia despite uncertainty in the global economy.

Total group second-quarter gross container volumes rose 1.6 per cent year-on-year to 18.32 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), DP World said in a statement to Nasdaq Dubai, where its shares trade.

Consolidated volumes in the three months to the end of June grew by 10.6 per cent on a reported basis but down 0.6 per cent on a like-for-like basis. The company said the “strong reported growth” in the Americas and Australia is due to the consolidation of Australia and acquisition of Pulogsa, which consists of two terminals in Chile.

The company recorded a strong performance across the Asia Pacific, Indian subcontinent region, rising 4.1 per cent on a reported basis and 7.2 per cent on a like-for-like basis, respectively. Growth at terminals in Africa during the second quarter of this year also helped raise volumes, however, weaker numbers in the UAE and Australia offset this trend, it noted.

“Encouragingly, despite uncertainty from the trade war, we have seen robust volumes in Asia Pacific and the Indian subcontinent, while growth in Africa remains strong. In contrast, UAE and Australia volumes have been soft due to a loss of lower-margin cargo and challenging market conditions,” group chairman and chief executive Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem said. “However, we expect a more stable throughput performance in the UAE for the second half of the year.”

DP World handled 35.8 million TEUs across its global portfolio of container terminals in the six months of this year, with gross container volumes growing by 0.5 per cent year-on-year each, on both reported like-for-like basis, it said.

At a consolidated level DP World terminals handled 19.5 million TEUs during the first half of 2019, the company said.

DP World, earlier this month, acquired Dubai oil services company Topaz Energy and Marine from Oman's Renaissance Services and Standard Chartered's private equity arm for an enterprise value of $1.08 billion (Dh3.96bn).

"This transaction is in line with our strategy to grow our presence in marine logistics and become a solutions provider to end customers," Mr Sulayem said at the time.

The deal marks the ports operator's foray into the oil and gas sector. DP World has been on an investment spree since 2018 as its growth strategy evolves to include the wider logistics supply chain. It snapped up UK-based transport and logistics company P&O Ferries, Indian rail logistics company Kribhco Infrastructure and Chile ports operator Puertos y Logistica.

Updated: July 23, 2019 12:23 PM