Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) can look back on a very successful financial year 2018, beating the previous year’s already strong result. Container through-put went up slightly, despite a more subdued market environment in the second half of the year. This increase was also due to the successful integration of the new acquisition, Estonia’s largest terminal operator, HHLA TK Estonia AS. Stable year-on-year results from container transport and successful property management led to revenue of € 1.29 billion (+3.1 %). The operating result (EBIT) was up significantly on the previous year, as prior-year expenses totalling approximately € 25 million for organisational restructuring and the harmonisation of pension schemes no longer applied. But even when adjusted for this effect, the operating result (EBIT) still increased moderately.
Angela Titzrath, Chairwoman of HHLA’s Executive Board: “The strong result for the financial year 2018 underlines that our strategy is paying off. We further strengthened HHLA’s solid foundation. Contributions came from all the segments and from the terminal operator HHLA TK Estonia, which has been successfully integrated into the HHLA family. A solid foundation is important in a world that is changing ever faster. But on its own, it is not enough to generate further growth. We will therefore continue to decisively and consistently implement our strategy of strengthening the creative power and future viability of HHLA. This will involve continuous investment in the quality and profitability of our core business, as well as the identification and development of new growth areas, particularly in the digital space. The aim is always to offer our customers the best possible solution for the quick, safe and efficient transport of their goods. And of course to increase the company value of HHLA for our shareholders. We therefore remain committed to our ambitious growth targets.”
As a result of the takeover of North America services and the first full-year consolidation of throughput volumes of the container terminal HHLA TK Estonia AS (formerly Transiidikeskuse AS), HHLA expects a slight overall increase in container throughput in 2019. Slight year-on-year growth is also expected for container transport. At a Group level, this should lead to a slight increase in revenue.
The operating result (EBIT) of the Port Logistics subgroup is expected to rise significantly year-on-year in 2019, largely due to the changes in lease accounting (IFRS 16) as of 2019. Earnings for the subgroup will be shaped largely by the Container and Intermodal segments. Stable EBIT growth on a par with the previous year is expected for the Container segment, while significant growth is expected for the Intermodal segment.
As a result of increased container throughput and earnings from container transport on par with the previous year, the listed Port Logistics subgroup generated revenue of € 1.26 billion in the 2018 financial year (previous year: € 1.22 billion) and an operating result (EBIT) of € 188 million (previous year: € 157 million). There were fewer minority interests following the acquisition of the remaining shares in Metrans, so net profit attributable to Class A shareholders rose by 44.5 % to € 102.9 million (previous year: € 71.2 million).
At the Annual General Meeting on 18 June 2019, the Executive Board and Supervisory Board will propose a dividend of € 0.80 per dividend-entitled Class A share (previous year: € 0.67). This would increase the dividend by 19.4 % compared with the previous year. The payout ratio of 54 % is again within the target range between 50 and 70 %.