Pleasing Earnings of the Transport Companies Compensate for the Modest Development in the Container Segment

  • Container throughput down by 5.7 % against previous year at 3.2 million TEU
  • Further increase of 6.2 % in container transport to 694 thousand TEU
  • Revenue down by 2.0 % on the first half of 2015 at € 573.5 million
  • Excluding the one-off restructuring expense, operating result (EBIT) almost on a par with the previous year at € 81.8 million. At € 66.9 million, EBIT 19.1 % lower than the previous year’s figure following the one-off expense of € 14.9 million for the restructuring of project and contract logistics

In a persistently difficult operating environment, container handling volumes at Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) remained 5.7 % down on the previous year at 3.2 million standard containers (TEU) in the first half of 2016. By contrast, container transport of the intermodal companies experienced further growth, increasing by 6.2 % to 694 thousand TEU. Revenue at Group level was down slightly on the previous year’s figure at approximately € 573 million. Adjusted for the one-off restructuring expense of almost € 15 million which was fully recognised in the half-yearly figures, the Group’s operating result (EBIT) almost matched the previous year’s at just under € 82 million.

Klaus-Dieter Peters, Chairman of HHLA’s Executive Board, on the course of business in the first half-year: “Thanks to our successfully implemented, long-term diversification strategy, we were once again able to compensate for developments in the Container segment – which were adversely affected by a persistently difficult operating environment – with pleasing growth in the Intermodal segment. In view of persistently weak growth momentum in global trade and international container throughput, and given the unchanged infrastructure deficits at the Port of Hamburg, container handling volumes at our terminals remained subdued. So far, we have been unable to match the throughput recorded in the same period of the previous year, partly due to a strong performance in the first quarter of 2015. By contrast, we are continuing our success story in the Intermodal segment. Considering that the market is highly competitive, it is remarkable that we managed to achieve a further increase of 6.2 % in transport volumes and growth of no less than 25.5 % in the segment’s operating result. We assume that developments at Group level during the remainder of the year will be in line with our expectations. For this reason, our forecast published in March remains unchanged.” 

Modest Volume Development in Container Handling

In the first half of 2016, throughput at HHLA’s container terminals was down by 5.7 % on the first six months of the previous year, at 3.2 million TEU. While the Container Terminal Odessa handled 132 thousand TEU – 5.9 % more containers than in the same period of the previous year – container throughput at the Hamburg terminals fell by 6.2 % to 3.1 million TEU. This was largely due to persistently weak Asia traffic (Far East–Northern Europe), which was down by 9 % on the first six months of 2015. The reduction in revenue in the Container segment was less pronounced, at 4.4 %, taking the figure to just under € 337 million. The segment’s operating result (EBIT) decreased in line with volumes, falling 5.9 % to approximately € 54 million.

Intermodal Companies Record Growth in Volume, Revenue and Earnings

HHLA’s transport companies were able to further extend their position. They grew their transport volume by 6.2 % to 694 thousand TEU in the highly competitive market for hinterland container traffic. This development was largely driven by rail transportation, which even increased by an impressive 8.6 %. As a result, revenue in the Intermodal segment grew by 5.5 % to almost € 191 million. Meanwhile, the segment’s operating result (EBIT) considerably outperformed the growth in volumes and revenue, climbing by 25.5 % to almost € 34 million. The use of additional own locomotives and wagons made a noticeable impact here.

Forecast for Revenue and Earnings Confirmed

In light of the Group’s performance in the first half, HHLA confirms its forecast and anticipates revenue at Group level on a par with the previous year and, following the one-off restructuring expense, a consolidated operating result (EBIT) in the range of € 115 million to € 145 million.

The Half-year Financial Report is available at: