Hamburg Sud’s revenue grew 7 percent in 2011 from a year ago to $6.64 billion, driven mainly by a 9 percent jump in the German container and bulk carrier’s box traffic to 3.1 million 20-foot equivalent units.
But the bottom line was “below budget and fell short of the previous year” due to stagnant freight rates and a sharply higher operating costs, the privately-held company said without releasing figures.
The dominant liner division’s result fell “significantly” below the record year of 2010 as revenue, slowed by a weak dollar, grew 6 percent to $5.8 billion.
Significantly higher capital spending of $659 million, mainly on deposits and final payments for new ships, could not be entirely covered from operational cash flow.
Germany’s second largest ocean carrier, a subsidiary of the Oetker pizza-to-banking conglomerate, forecast an improved “but not yet satisfactory” result for 2012 due to modest growth in world trade.
The higher container traffic in 2011 was driven by strong growth in trade lanes from Asia supported by increased shipments on inter-America and Pacific services. Mediterranean operations, by contrast, fell below expectations, as did Brazilian exports, which were impacted by a strong national currency.
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