Eurogate, Europe's largest container terminal operator, increased 2010 net income 28.9 percent from a year ago to $89.3 million, as revenue grew just 1.4 percent to $870 million.
The Bremen-based company said it expects to boost profits again in 2011 following the surge in earnings last year. The sharply higher profit was only partly due to the recovery in world trade, said Eurogate chairman Thomas Eckelmann.
"Our strict cost management and lowering of investments" also influenced the result, he said. "Despite the still difficult market environment, we are expecting increasing handling volumes to produce a further rise in the group operating result for 2011."
Eurogate boosted traffic 5.2 percent at its nine terminals in Germany, Italy, Portugal and Morocco in 2010 from the previous year to 12.63 million 20-foot equivalent units.
This compares with a record 14.2 million TEUs handled in 2008.
Bremerhaven was the best performer in 2010, increasing traffic 7.4 percent to 4.9 million TEUs, while the six minority-owned Italian terminals, including the Gioia Tauro and Cagliari transshipment hubs, grew just 0.8 percent to 4.7 million TEUs.
Eckelmann said Eurogate's new deep-water container terminal in the north German port of Wilhelmshaven will begin operations in August 2012 "just at the right time" to handle the wave of ultra large ships of over 10,000 TEUs coming onto the market.
Wilhelmshaven will be the only deepwater terminal in Germany able to accommodate the largest container ships independently of tidal conditions.
Eckelmann said deepening of the shipping channels in the Elbe and Weser rivers is urgently needed to ensure terminals in Hamburg and Bremerhaven can compete with rivals in northwest European ports.
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