UAE operator reports a mixed performance across its global portfolio last year, with strong contributions in the Americas, Australia and newly inaugurated facilities masking a weaker domestic showing.
DP World handled 71.4m teu in 2018, but volumes in the UAE dropped by nearly 3%
DP WORLD, the Dubai-based port operator, posted moderate container volume growth for 2018 as strong growth at terminals overseas helped offset a disappointing domestic performance.
The United Arab Emirates company reported gross volumes of 71.4m teu, a rise of 1.9% year on year from 70.1m teu. Like-for-like volumes grew 2.9% last year on 2017 levels.
Fourth quarter traffic was little changed at 17.8m teu.
Growth across DP World’s global portfolio, which now stands at more than 50 terminals, was largely fragmented in 2018. However, strong performances were notable in the Americas and Australia, where throughput totals grew 2.8%. This included robust volume growth in Prince Rupert, Canada.
Elsewhere, the continued ramp-up of fledgling terminals, including London Gateway in the UK, and Yarimca, Turkey, helped drive volumes, in addition to a positive performance at the group’s facilities in Dakar and Sokhna, located in Senegal and Egypt, respectively.
In the UAE, home to DP World’s flagship Jebel Ali in Dubai, volumes were less impressive, falling 2.9% year on year to 15m teu.
DP World attributed softer volumes to the loss of “low-margin throughput”, which it helped balance with a focus on higher margin cargoes to maintain profitability. Its consolidated volumes, weighted on equity share, were recorded at 36.8m teu, up 0.8% and 1.4% on a reported and like-for-like basis, respectively.
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“Given the steady volume performance of our portfolio, we are well placed to meet full-year 2018 market expectations,” said company chief executive Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem.
Separately, DP World has announced it has renewed its concession in Constanta, Romania for 30 years.
The contract extension will allow for the further development of the terminal, which currently boasts a 1m teu. However, it revealed that there is land available to cater for volumes in excess of 4.5m teu annually.