News in brief:
-DP World handled 53.6mn TEUs across its global portfolio of container terminals in the first nine months of 2018
-Gross container volumes grew by 2.6% year-on-year
-The results were softer than previous years, but expected
-Gross like-for-like volumes declined by 0.5% in 3Q 2018
DP World handled 53.6 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units) across its global portfolio of container terminals in the first nine months of 2018, with gross container volumes growing by 2.6% year-on-year on a reported basis and 3.7% on a like-for-like basis.
The results were softer than previous years, but this had already been expected by DP World and flagged up during its H1 results announcement earlier this year.
“As highlighted in our first half throughput announcement, we have seen our volume growth decelerate due to the strong prior year performance and general caution in the market given the current uncertainty in global trade,” said Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, group chairman and CEO, DP World.
Gross like-for-like volumes declined by 0.5% in 3Q 2018 due to the tougher year-on-year comparable (3Q 2017 volumes grew 13.5% year-on-year), and softer volumes in the UAE.
The UAE handled 11.3 million TEU in the first nine months of 2018, down 2.1% year-on-year, with 3Q 2018 volumes down 6.7% year-on-year due to the challenging microenvironment and loss of lower-margin cargo.
Growth in Europe remained robust with strong growth in London Gateway (UK) and Rotterdam (Netherlands).
“At a consolidated level, our terminals handled 27.7 million TEU during the first nine months of 2018, a 1.6% improvement in performance on a reported basis and up 2.2% year-on-year on a like-for-like basis,” said Bin Sulayem.
“In the UAE, the volume weakness in 3Q 2018 is mainly due to loss of low-margin throughput, where our focus remains on profitable cargo and, while the near-term volume outlook in Jebel Ali remains challenging, we have taken measures to maintain profitability,” he added.
DP World has recently shifted its focus to strengthening its product offering to play a greater role in the global supply chain as a trade enabler.
“We continue to focus on delivering operational excellence, managing costs and disciplined investment to remain the port operator of choice. We are also pleased to state that despite the softer volumes, we are on track to meet market expectations,” said Bin Sulayem.