DP World Limited handled 14.2 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units) across its portfolio of container terminals in the third quarter of 2012. This was 1% lower than the same period last year reflecting the divestment of three joint venture terminals and a decline in volumes in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region. Like for like gross container volume growth in the third quarter was 0.5%.
Gross container volumes have continued to grow 4.5% in the first nine months of the year driven by strong growth across the Americas, Asia Pacific, Middle East and UAE region.
The UAE region continued to increase the number of containers handled with 3.4 million TEU handled in the third quarter. This takes its volumes in the first nine months of the year to 4.6% ahead of the same period last year.
Our portfolio of consolidated terminals reported a 0.7% decline in volumes in the third quarter as the Asia Pacific and Indian Subcontinent region and the Europe, Middle East and Africa region reported a small decline in volumes. For the nine months to 30 September, container volumes across our consolidated portfolio would have increased 3.4% ahead of the same period last year had our terminals in Australia not been deconsolidated from 12 March 2011.
Chairman Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem commented: “During the third quarter of the year we have taken advantage of opportunities to reposition our portfolio towards higher return businesses where we have management involvement. These recent divestments allow us to recycle cash into projects already within our pipeline, such as Jebel Ali (UAE) and London Gateway (UK) and, over time, to invest in new opportunities in line with our strategy, while maintaining balance sheet strength and flexibility.”
Group Chief Executive Mohammed Sharaf commented: “The third quarter of the year has seen a slowdown in container volume growth with some of our regions reporting a small decline in volumes reflecting the challenging macroeconomic environment. Despite this, our volume growth for the first nine months of the year reflects good growth over the prior period and whilst there remains uncertainty within the macro economy, we continue to believe we will achieve EBITDA in line with expectations.”