Tuesday, January 26, 2010

DP World Reports Drop In Shipping Container Throughput

Figures Much as Expected from Port Giants
Shipping News Feature

DUBAI –UAE- DP World produced its figures for 2009 and, as expected, they showed a drop of 8% in the number of TEU’s handled throughout the year at the company’s 28 “Consolidated 1” freight terminals world wide. Once new facilities, added during the course of last year, are excluded this actually represents a 10% reduction in trade. Altogether the groups 50 operational terminals were down 6% against 2008 figures.

DP World has facilities in 31 countries and its US and Australian markets suffered more than elsewhere with a decline in container traffic by around 15%. Asia Pacific and the Indian subcontinent trade was down just 5% but two thirds of the groups work is conducted in the Europe, West Africa and Middle Eastern markets which decreased by 7%.

The Chief Executive Mr Mohammed Sharaf, expressed satisfaction at the results in what he called “a very challenging year” and confirmed profits will suffer accordingly. He emphasised the recovery in the latter half of 2009 and said the company’s twin policies of reducing costs and maintaining revenues had “mitigated against the downside”.

Handy Shipping Guide has, for some weeks, been requesting confirmation that the company plans to list on the London Stock Exchange and this Mr Sharaf confirmed would happen by the second quarter of 2010. Plans for the London Gateway project are also on track with “infrastructure foundation work” due to commence. DP World has been listed on the NASDAQ Dubai exchange since November 2007 but a London listing lifts the group into a different league.

It is twelve months since the company introduced the new measures to reduce overheads and the pace of growth is liable to slow this year in line with world trade, Mr Sharaf insists cash flow is satisfactory and, as one of troubled Dubai World's most highly prized assets, the Dubai Government port management specialists have been ring fenced from its parent company’s own debt restructuring plans.

Pic: Callao Port Home to one of DP Worlds newest terminal acquisition