German terminal operator Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) has recorded a 12.3 percent drop in its container throughput volume to 6.6 million TEUs during 2015, compared to 7.5 million TEUs handled in 2014.
The volume decrease was mainly attributed to a sluggish container shipping industry, as well a slowdown in the Chinese market and in the Baltic region.
“The challenging environment – the weak global economic, trade and container throughput growth, China’s slowing economic growth, the severe recession in Russia and the economic crisis in Ukraine, where we managed to reduce the impact of the lower throughput at our Container Terminal Odessa by gaining market share – was felt particularly in seaborne container handling at our Hamburg terminals. On top of this, there were persistent infrastructure deficits that led to a drop in volumes in light of renewed fierce competition and further increased capacity,” HHLA’s Chairman of the Executive Board, Klaus-Dieter Peters, said.
Despite a persistently difficult environment, HHLA generated revenue of USD 1.2 billion and an operating result (EBIT) of USD 177.1 million in the 2015 financial year. Revenue fell by 4.8 percent compared to the previous year and the operating result was 7.5 percent lower. By contrast, profit after tax and minority interests increased significantly by 13.2 percent to USD 75.4 million.
While container throughput of HHLA declined in the 2015 financial year due to a persistently challenging environment, HHLA’s Intermodal companies saw an increase in operating result (EBIT) to almost USD 177.6 million.
HHLA expects that the container throughput in 2016 would be on a par with the previous year, with a slight increase in container transport. The company predicts its operating result could come in the range of USD 130.1 million to USD 164 million.