Global marine terminal operator DP World today announces that it handled 25.6 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent container units) across its portfolio of 28 consolidated terminals in 2009, reflecting 8% fewer containers handled than last year. Excluding the contribution from new terminals which joined the portfolio during 2009, volumes declined by 10% (having been down 13% in the first half). Across all 50 of our operational terminals in 2009 we handled 43.4 m TEU a decline of 6% over 2008.
2009 was the most challenging year the container port industry has experienced, with the first reported global decline in volumes since containerisation began. The industry as a whole reported a decline of almost 12% in container volumes and DP World’s outperformance reflects our focus on more resilient emerging markets which have not been as impacted by the slowdown in global trade.
During 2009, we successfully opened two new terminals we have been developing over the course of the last few years; Doraleh Container Terminal in Djibouti at the beginning of the year, and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in the final quarter of the year. In addition, we were awarded concessions for two new terminals in Algeria.
Our UAE region handled volumes of just over 11 million TEU, handling more containers in the second half of the year than in the first half.
Mohammed Sharaf, Chief Executive of DP World commented:
“2009 has been a very challenging year for container port operators and we are pleased that we have delivered somewhat better results than the industry due to our focus on emerging markets which have remained more resilient to the global downturn.
“As anticipated, all our regions handled more containers in the second half of 2009 than in the first half and the early signs of stability seen in the third quarter have continued into the final quarter of the year. Customer confidence, whilst improving, remains fragile with limited visibility for the medium term.
“Our 8% decline in volumes will lead to a decline in full year profit before tax against the same period last year; however management’s focus on cost cutting and maintaining revenues has mitigated the downside and we expect to report 2009 results in line with expectations.
“We remain confident about the long term outlook for the container terminal industry and our strong competitive position within it. Whilst we have seen a better performance in the second half of 2009, predicting global trade trends in 2010 remains challenging, and whilst we expect to see container volumes improve, we will continue to remain focused on growing revenues and managing costs to drive EBITDA forwards.”
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