The 2016 financial year started as expected for Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA). While container transport increased by just over 2 percent to 341 thousand standard containers (TEU), container throughput fell by almost 8 percent to 1.6 million TEU. At just under € 285 million, revenue was slightly over 4 % down year-on-year. The operating result (EBIT) declined by almost 5 % to around € 40 million. In contrast, profit after tax and minority interests climbed by nearly 45 % to just over € 18 million.
Klaus-Dieter Peters, Chairman of HHLA’s Executive Board, on developments in the first quarter: “Given the ongoing challenges in the operating environment, the performance of Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG in the first quarter was in line with our expectations. The throughput volumes at our container terminals did decline in comparison with the positive first quarter of 2015, but they increased against the fourth quarter of 2015. As a result, we believe that volumes in the Container segment have bottomed out and anticipate stable development for the rest of the year. Our intermodal companies once again recorded a pleasing development in container transport. Due to another increase in rail traffic, they climbed by 2.4 % against the same period of the previous year, which already saw excellent results. The Intermodal segment by now contributes approximately 40 % to the consolidated operating result. This confirms our decision to expand the Intermodal segment to become the Group’s second strong pillar.”
At 1.6 million TEU, HHLA’s container terminals handled 7.7 % fewer containers than in the same period of the previous year, but 5.1 % more than in the fourth quarter of 2015. This should lead to the decline in volumes bottoming out. While the Container Terminal Odessa already recorded growth of 4.8 % to 67 thousand TEU, throughput at the three terminals in Hamburg declined by 8.2 % to 1.5 million TEU. Revenue in the Container segment declined by 6.0 % to € 169.2 million. The operating result (EBIT) for the segment saw a decrease of 14.2 % to € 27.9 million as a result of the underutilisation of the Hamburg facilities.
The growth seen by the HHLA transport companies was driven by the increase in rail transport, which went up by 4.8 % to 264 thousand TEU. With growth of 1.0 % to € 92.6 million, revenue grew less dynamically than transport volumes. The operating result (EBIT) increased to € 16.3 million (previous year: € 12.7 million), whereby the extended use of the company’s own locomotives and waggons has made a significantly positive mark on the result in the form of productivity gains and an improved cost structure. As the company’s own locomotives were still being procured in the same period last year, these effects were not yet fully recognisable in the first quarter of 2015.