In the first quarter of 2015, Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) increased its operating result (EBIT) by 9.3 % to € 43.0 million. The operating result increased more than the revenue, which rose by 1.2 % in the first quarter to € 296.9 million. Container throughput declined by 6.2 % to 1.7 million standard containers (TEU). In contrast, the number of containers transported by the HHLA Intermodal companies increased by 9.3 % to 333 thousand TEU.
“The 2015 financial year started well for Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG. We were able to continue last year’s upward trend in both revenue and earnings in the first quarter. Our Intermodal companies have performed particularly well, and are playing an increasingly important role within the Group. This once again shows that our strategy of vertical alignment along the transport chain is successful. The increase in volumes seen at the Intermodal companies confirms this, as does the operating result, which has more than doubled against the previous year.
Over the course of the year, we expect to see volumes recover in the Container segment, and a slight slowdown in the volume dynamics for the Intermodal segment. Our forecast for the full year of a slight increase in revenue and an operating result for the Group on par with the previous year therefore remains unchanged,” said Klaus-Dieter Peters, Chairman of HHLA’s Executive Board.
Both Metrans and Polzug were able to increase transport volumes by a double-digit percentage against the same period in the previous year and expand their market position. The growth in volume and the longer average transport distances resulted in higher revenue. Revenue rose by 10.6 % in comparison to the same quarter in the previous year to € 91.7 million (previous year: € 82.9 million). Against previous year, the operating result in the Intermodal segment more than doubled to € 12.7 million (previous year: € 5.8 million). The impact of investments in greater value added with own terminals, wagons and locomotives is clearly noticeable.
A decrease in the volatile feeder traffic and a lower degree of capacity utilisation of the liner services led to a clear drop in volumes in seaborne container handling. Due to the crisis, feeder traffic with Russia alone declined by approximately 40 % compared to the same quarter in the previous year. This was contrasted by the consistently high growth rates in profitable rail and truck carriers. Container handling amounted to 1,747 thousand TEU, 6.2 % lower than the previous year’s figure of 1,862 thousand TEU. Compared to the previous year, the operating result in the Container segment came in lower overall. It fell 12.6 % to € 32.6 million (previous year: € 37.3 million). Lower storage fees had quite an impact, along with the drop in volume. In the first quarter of 2014, storage fees had risen temporarily due to ship delays.
Handling at the Container Terminal Odessa seems to have reached its lowest point. HHLA expects an increase in volume over the course of the year if a larger market share can be gained and the political and economic situation in Ukraine stabilises.