Dubai-based port operator DP World warned that growth rates could moderate in the second half of 2021 as it reported handling higher volume at its container terminals in the second quarter.
“The near-term outlook remains positive, but we do expect growth rates to moderate in the second half of 2021. Furthermore, we remain mindful that the Covid-19 pandemic and geopolitical uncertainty could once-again disrupt the global economic recovery,” said group chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem in a statement Wednesday.
The maritime firm, one of the world’s largest, said it handled 19.7 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units) across its global portfolio of container terminals in the second quarter of 2021, with gross container volumes increasing by 17.6 percent year-on-year on a reported basis and 17.1 percent on a like-for-like basis.
For the first half, DP World handled 38.6 million TEU, with gross container volumes increasing by 13.9 percent year-on-year on a reported basis and 13.3 percent on a like-for-like basis.
Bin Sulayem said growth continued to be broad based with all regions delivering a robust performance, with India being exceptionally strong. “Encouragingly, the recent volume improvement at our flagship port of Jebal Ali (UAE) continued into Q2-2021 with throughput growth accelerating to 4.2 percent year-on-year,” he added.
The port operator, which reverted to being a state holding after delisting from Nasdaq Dubai stock exchange, has ports and economic zones, across the world. It reported a 29 percent fall in annual profit to $846 million in 2020.
Bin Sulayem said the company was focused on growing profitability while managing growth capex.
“The strong start to 2021 leaves us well placed to deliver an improved full year performance and we remain focused on delivering our 2022 targets.”
(Writing by Brinda Darasha; editing by Seban Scaria)
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