The 2018 financial year has started successfully for Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA). Both Group revenue and the Group operating result increased in the first three months compared to the same period of the previous year. Both subgroups, the listed Port Logistics subgroup and the Real Estate subgroup, contributed to the good start this year. A 2.6 % increase in container handling was recorded, while container transport declined by 5.3 % due to the realignment of Polzug’s activities. Revenue in the Port Logistics subgroup was up 3.3 %.
HHLA confirms its target for the current financial year of at least keeping revenue stable on par with the high level of the previous year and achieving considerably higher EBIT in the Port Logistics subgroup and at Group level.
Angela Titzrath, Chairwoman of HHLA’s Executive Board: “Following a good start in the first quarter, we are confident that we will achieve our targets for the year. The focus of all our efforts is on our customers. We intend to continue providing outstanding service with the utmost professionalism and to continue acting as a reliable partner for all logistics services. This is also the objective of our ambitious investment programme, with which we intend to invest more than one billion euros over the next five years in order to strengthen our Hamburg location and to continually expand our intermodal network. Furthermore, we have set up a structured process that will allow us to continually select and evaluate potential value-adding acquisition targets. One of the first results of this process is the acquisition of the largest terminal operator in Estonia, Transiidikeskuse AS in the port of Muuga. With the acquisition of this high-performance company, which is due to be completed by the end of the second quarter, HHLA will become the market leader for container handling in one of the fastest growing economies in Europe. We are continually working on increasing our efficiency and profitability. The acquisition of the remaining shares in Metrans from the management and the successful integration of Polzug into the Metrans Group show that we are striving for success.”
Revenue in the listed Port Logistics subgroup increased by a moderate 3.3 % to € 307.3 million in the first quarter. The operating result (EBIT) climbed significantly by 5.9 % to € 44.2 million. The two main pillars of the HHLA business model, the Container and Intermodal segments, contributed to the positive development in EBIT.
In the Container segment, container handling increased in line with the market, climbing 2.6 % to 1.8 million standard containers (TEU). This development was driven by Asian traffic, which increased considerably by 8.9 %. Due to a lower share of feeder traffic and higher storage fees, revenue increased moderately by 4.9 % to € 191.7 million. Segment EBIT rose by 2.6 % to € 32.7 million. The segment’s EBIT margin amounted to 17.1 %.
In the Intermodal segment, container transport declined significantly by 5.3 %. This is due to the scheduled realignment of Polzug’s activities as part of its integration into the Metrans organisation. Revenue performed better, with a minimal decline of 0.1 % resulting from a larger rail share and longer transport distances. Segment EBIT increased by a solid 13.4 %, resulting in an EBIT margin of 18.4 %.
HHLA expects container throughput in 2018 to be in the region of previous year. The container transport volume is also forecast to remain on the previous year’s level, as Polish intermodal traffic is being realigned in the course of its integration into Metrans. At subgroup level, this should mean that revenue is in the region of the previous year.
The operating result (EBIT) at the Port Logistics subgroup is expected to rise markedly year-on-year in 2018. Earnings will be driven largely by the Container and Intermodal segments.
Due to virtually full occupancy of HHLA properties in the Speicherstadt historical warehouse district and the Fischmarkt, revenue again climbed a slight 1.4 % to € 9.4 million. In contrast, segment EBIT rose a considerable 5.4 % to € 3.6 million due to increased revenue from existing and newly developed properties. The EBIT margin therefore climbed once again to 38.5 %.
The operating result (EBIT) at the Real Estate subgroup for the whole of 2018 is expected to come in at approximately € 15 million due to planned, large-scale maintenance work that does not qualify for capitalisation.