News Column

DP World handles 13.9m containers in H1

August 28, 2014

Alexander Cornwell Staff Reporter

Over the first half of the year, DP World handled 13.9 million TEUs (twenty foot equivalent units - a shipping measurement term) across its global terminal portfolio, compared to 12.8 million TEUs in the same period a year earlier.

The 8.5 per cent cargo volume increased translated into a revenue boost of 9.9 per cent for the company. DP World, which is one of world's largest port operators, focuses much of its business on rapid growth emerging markets. However, also operates in developed markets in Europe, Asia, Australia and Canada.

Revenue from operations in Australia and the Americas rose 6.9 per cent to $312 million. Containerised revenue per TEU (twenty foot equivalent units - a shipping measurement term) rose 6.6 per cent in Australia and Americas segment but the loss from equity-accounted investees increased to $9.5 million "due to a softer performance in Australia."

However, revenue from Asia Pacific and the Indian Subcontinent slid 1 per cent "due to the monetisation of Hong Kong."

"Overall, we remain encouraged by the performance of all three regions," Sulayem said.DP World invested $350 million across its portfolio, of which $318 million was directed to terminals in the Middle East and Europe, over the January to June period.

Jebel Ali Terminal Three (T3) phase one, which consists of two million TEUs capacity, will open in the fourth quarter. But Phase two, a further two million TEUs, has been delayed until some time in the first half of 2015. DP World also said that its Yarimca port in Turkey is on course to open in the second half of 2015.

Capital expenditure for 2015 now stands at $1.5 billion with the remaining balance shifting to 2015, the operator said.

The Dubai-based ports operator said it is concerned about ongoing geopolitical issues, however, apart from saying "we are taking a cautious view on it," Sulayem did not state any specific concerns. DP World does not operate any terminals in Iraq, Syria or Libya.

DP World raised a $1 billion through a convertible bond this year, due in 2024, long-term corporate bonds total $3.25 billion with a $1.75 billion 30 year unsecured medium term note due in 2017 and a $1.5 billion 10-year unsecured sukuk due in 2017. DP World also has $1.8 billion of debt at the subsidiary level.Sulayem did, however, express interest in Egypt's new Suez Canal project. DP World already operates the Sokhna terminal on the Suez Canal. Sulayem did not elaborate on plans for the development of a port in Ecuador apart from saying "it's one of the ports we are studying."Near term outlook looks encouraging and we expect the second half to be stronger than the first, he said.

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Source: Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)

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