Business remained strong and continued to develop positively at Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) in the first nine months of 2017. While Group revenue rose by 8.3 percent year-on-year to € 942.8 million, the operating result (EBIT) increased by 22.3 percent to € 155.2 million. The profit after tax and minority interests – the relevant figure for shareholders – grew by 30.2 percent to € 79.3 million. Volumes went up by 10.8 percent in container throughput and 6.8 percent in container transport.
The Chairwoman of HHLA’s Executive Board, Angela Titzrath, commented on the business developments as follows: “HHLA is currently benefiting from the positive trend in both the global economy and world trade, but also from the targeted sales activities and in-depth discussions with our customers which took place in the spring of this year and by which we secured – and in some cases expanded – our market position. We believe that we will achieve the targets forecast for 2017. Although the results are very pleasing, we continue to operate in a challenging market environment. Uncertainty remains in the form of the volatile trend in international trade, which has prompted a structural slowdown in growth over recent years and in the conditions at the Port of Hamburg. We are still waiting for work to commence on the dredging of the river Elbe.”
The HHLA container terminals in Hamburg and Odessa have to date handled 5.5 million standard containers (TEU) this year. This is 10.8 percent more than in the period from January to September 2016. Throughput at the three Hamburg terminals climbed even more strongly, by 11.3 percent to 5.2 million TEU. HHLA benefited from the reorganisation of shipping line services here. Growth of 17.3 percent was seen on the high-volume Asian routes, which made a particularly strong contribution to the volume increase in Hamburg. Alongside China – the Port of Hamburg’s most important trading partner – heightened trade with Russia contributed towards a substantial 17.9 percent increase in feeder traffic with the Baltic Sea ports. Revenue in the Container segment rose by 9.9 percent to € 563.6 million (previous year: € 512.7 million). At 21.5 percent, growth in the operating result (EBIT) once again outstripped the rise in volumes, taking it to € 105.2 million (previous year: € 86.6 million).
The Intermodal segment, the second most important segment in HHLA’s business model, also performed very well. In a highly competitive market environment, HHLA’s transport companies hauled 1.1 million TEU in the first nine months of 2017 and increased container transport by 6.8 percent compared with the same period of the previous year. This trend was driven by growth in both rail and road transport. Revenue in the Intermodal segment grew by 7.7 percent to € 311.8 million (previous year: € 289.5 million). The operating result (EBIT) increased by 10.8 percent to € 55.4 million (previous year: € 50.0 million).
The HHLA Executive Board has confirmed its guidance for the 2017 financial year in light of the Group’s performance over the first nine months. It should be noted that one-off expenses of up to € 10 million are expected in the pro forma Holding/Other segment in the fourth quarter for the harmonisation of the existing pension schemes. These have already been taken into account in the EBIT forecast, however. The Group’s operating result (EBIT) is still expected to be within a range between € 150 million and € 170 million, while the Port Logistics subgroup is expected to generate EBIT within a range between € 135 million and € 155 million, both including possible one-off expenses of up to € 15 million for reorganisation in the Container segment.