During the reporting period, the Group revenue and operating result (EBIT) of Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) remained within the previous year’s range. Container throughput came in at only around 2 percent less than in the same period of 2015. In a highly competitive environment, the Group once again increased container transport by its Intermodal companies by almost 6 percent. The Executive Board has elaborated its forecast for the current financial year.
Klaus-Dieter Peters, Chairman of HHLA’s Executive Board, on the course of business in the reporting period: “HHLA turned in a satisfactory performance given the still subdued global economic growth, weak global trade, a further slowdown in global container throughput and continued infrastructure deficits. At 4.9 million standard containers (TEU), container throughput was still around 2 percent lower than in the prior-year period. However, we see a positive trend in the Container segment over the year. The Intermodal segment once again recorded encouraging volume growth. Container transport at the Intermodal companies rose by almost 6 percent to 1.1 million TEU. We are confident that we can reach our targets by the end of the financial year. Our successfully established and expanded Intermodal segment has become a dynamic earnings driver for our Group and will play a key role in this development.”
In the first nine months of 2016, HHLA generated revenue of € 871.0 million at Group level. This roughly corresponds to the figure recorded in the previous year (+ 0.2 percent). The operating result (EBIT) edged up slightly by 2.4 percent year-on-year to € 126.9 million. EBIT for the third quarter of 2016 included a one-off gain from the early termination of a lease in the project and contract logistics business division. This one-off gain offset the one-off expense of almost € 15 million for the restructuring of the division as reported in the half-year financial report.
Although throughput at the HHLA container terminals was still down by 2.1 percent year-on-year at 4.9 million TEU in the period from January to September 2016, developments over the course of the year indicated that it had bottomed out. After the negative volume trend seen in the first half of 2016, volumes recovered in the third quarter, growing by 5.6 percent compared with the same period of 2015. This growth was largely driven by an increase in feeder traffic, particularly between Hamburg and Russia. In addition to this, the HHLA container terminal in the Ukrainian port of Odessa succeeded in boosting its throughput by 13.4 percent on the first nine months of 2015. The Container segment’s revenue decreased at a slower rate than volumes, falling by just 1.2 percent to € 512.7 million. It was able to grow its operating result (EBIT) by 3.7 percent to € 86.6 million.
HHLA’s transport companies moved 1.1 million TEU in the first nine months of 2016, representing an increase of 5.9 percent on the previous year. Revenue at the Intermodal segment climbed by 6.1 percent to € 289.5 million. Growth in the operating result (EBIT) once again significantly outperformed the increase in volumes and revenue. At € 50.0 million, it was 13.8 percent higher than one year earlier. This was mainly driven by the HHLA rail companies, supported by volume growth and, in particular, an improvement in the combination of import and export volumes as well as better utilisation of trains.
The HHLA Executive Board has elaborated on its forecast for the 2016 financial year in light of the Group’s performance over the first nine months. Although the Executive Board still expects container throughput and revenue to remain on a par with the previous year’s figures, it now anticipates a moderate increase in container transport. As the one-off effects in the project and contract logistics business division offset one another, the operating result (EBIT) at Group level is expected in the range of € 150 million to € 160 million.