HPH Trust Ends 2018 with Major Loss

PortIllustration. Image Courtesy: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license

Singapore-listed container port business trust Hutchison Port Holdings Trust (HPH Trust) ended 2018 with a major loss.

Namely, for the full year ended December 31, 2018, the company’s loss amounted to HKD 10.2 billion, against a profit of HKD 2.2 billion reported a year earlier.

Revenue for the period was slightly down at HKD 11.4 billion, while full year throughput deflated by 1 percent.

Container throughput at Yantian International Container Terminals (YICT) increased by 4%, compared to 2017, mainly due to growth in the US and transshipment cargoes.

The combined container throughput of Hongkong International Terminals Limited (HIT), COSCO-HIT Terminals and Asia Container Terminals Limited (ACT) (collectively HPHT Kwai Tsing) was 7% below last year due to reduction in transshipment cargoes.

Fiscal 2019 commenced with forecasts of slower international trade and further structural changes to container shipping lines, HPH Trust explained. These developments make forecasting cargo volumes challenging and consequently the Trustee-Manager “will continue to focus on cost discipline and efficiency improvements to better serve its customers and protect the business from any downturn in cargoes handled.”

Additionally, a number of macro-economic and political uncertainties are believed to be behind the forecast international trade slowdown, including a slowing Chinese and EU economies, Brexit, as well as the uncertainty related to the US-China trade.

“Further structural changes to container shipping lines are anticipated. While the creation of further cost sharing alliances is not expected, further deployment of mega vessels will continue necessitating investment in port equipment and processes by deep water port operators handling these vessels,” HPH Trust concluded.

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