DUBAI, (Reuters) – DP World, part of the Dubai World conglomerate at the centre of the emirate’s debt troubles, posted better-than-expected container volumes for its ports with a 7 percent rise in the first half.
“The return to container volume growth we reported in the first quarter of this year has continued strongly through the second quarter, delivering a better than expected performance for the first half,” said DP World Chief Executive Mohammed Sharaf.
“These first-half volumes, along with the continuation of cost management, will lead to an improvement in first-half profit after tax,” he said in a statement.
Container volumes climbed 7 percent on a consolidated basis to 13.2 million TEU, or “twenty-foot equivalent container units”. On a like-for-like basis, they advanced 10 percent.
The figures bode well for DP World half-year results due on August 18.
Two analysts polled by Reuters expect DP World to post a net of $148 million to $158 million, down from $175.32 million a year earlier.
Sharaf added that while there is still uncertainty over the sustainability of first-half trade volumes, DP World expects to deliver full-year results in line with expectations.
One of the largest port operators in the world, on a wider, non-consolidated basis accounting for all of its operations, DP World said it handled 23.7 million TEU, up 16 percent.
That was powered by business in Asia and Australia, it said, where the company has joint ventures and other tie-ups.
Dubai’s debt woes have pushed up the cost of borrowing for many Gulf firms and foreign investors have become more wary of the region, while the global financial crisis has slowed the type of cross-border trade which fuels DP World’s core business.
Though 77 percent owned by Dubai World, DP World is not included in the parent firm’s $23.5 billion debt restructuring plan.