HHLA Off to a Good Start

In the first quarter of 2014, Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) increased its container throughput by 2.4 percent to 1.9 million standard containers (TEU).

The volume transported by HHLA’s Intermodal companies grew by 5.1 percent to 305 thousand TEU. The operating result (EBIT) improved by 4.8 percent to € 39.3 million. Group revenue increased by 6.8 percent to € 293.5 million.

“The 2014 financial year started well for Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG. The volume increases in both container throughput and transport are particularly pleasing given that we achieved them in largely stagnating markets.

Strong growth in Far East traffic was the main factor in enabling us to extend our market position in container handling. This demonstrates our strength in operating in a persistently challenging industry environment. Numerous efficiency-boosting process innovations paid off here.

The operating result also grew substantially. The figures for the first quarter also once again bear out our intermodal strategy. The transport volume, revenue and earnings recorded by our hinterland transportation services rose significantly, with disproportionately strong growth again being seen on the new connections in Germany, with Austria and Switzerland,” said Klaus-Dieter Peters, Chairman of HHLA’s Executive Board.

In the first three months of 2014, HHLA’s container terminals in Hamburg and Odessa increased their throughput volume by 2.4 percent to 1,862 thousand standard containers (TEU) (previous year: 1,818 thousand TEU).

Considerable growth of 8.1 percent in Far East cargo at the HHLA terminals in Hamburg played a substantial role here. Revenue in the container segment rose by 5.8 percent to € 186.1 million (previous year: € 175.9 million), and thereby outpaced the growth in volumes.

The operating result (EBIT) grew by 17.3 percent to € 37.3 million (previous year: € 31.8 million). The container terminal in Odessa recorded a decline in the first quarter which was for the time being only partly attributable to the political crisis between Ukraine and Russia.

With growth of 5.1 percent, the transport volume climbed to 305 thousand standard containers (TEU). This rise was due firstly to more frequent links with the Czech Republic and Slovakia and secondly to the success of the new services in Germany, with Austria and Switzerland.

With growth of 12.9 percent to € 82.9 million (previous year: € 73.4 million), the revenue trend in the Intermodal segment outpaced the increase in volume. With growth of 8.1 percent at € 5.8 million (previous year: € 5.4 million), EBIT also outpaced volume development.

Forecast for Revenue and EBIT Unchanged

A number of fundamental uncertainties remain as regards the rest of the year. These relate first and foremost to the crisis in Ukraine, general economic risks and the current consolidation process, which is giving rise to new alliances and cooperation in container shipping.

Provided that the current structure of cargo flows remains intact, HHLA said that it still expects a slight increase in container throughput and moderate, above-market growth of its Intermodal companies for the full year 2014.

On this basis, HHLA aims to achieve revenue slightly higher than in the previous year. At the same time, infrastructure deficits and competitive pressure due to growing idle terminal capacities represent increasing burdens. With this in mind, matching the previous year’s earnings figure remains an ambitious target.

HHLA, May 16, 2014

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