DP World, the world’s third largest container terminal operator, boosted traffic by 10 percent in 2011 from a year ago on strong growth in emerging markets, prompting a forecast that core earnings would meet expectations.
The increase, to 54.7 million 20-foot equivalent units across more than 60 terminals, was driven by 12 percent growth at DP’s flagship United Arab Emirates terminal to 13 million TEUs. Fourth quarter traffic climbed 8.5 percent year-over-year to 14.1 million TEUs.
DP World also booked strong results from the Asia-Pacific, Africa and Americas regions together with the addition of new capacity from terminals in Karachi, Pakistan, and Vallarpadam, India, both of which opened in early 2011.
Volume at DP World’s consolidated terminals dipped roughly 300,000 TEUs slightly to 27.5 million TEUs from a year earlier. This reflected the deconsolidation of five Australian terminals that were sold for $1.5 billion in March, with DP World retaining a 25 percent stake.
“Whilst uncertainty continues to affect the global economy, our business is still performing well,” said Chief Executive Mohammed Sharaf.
“We made good progress through the fourth quarter of 2011 and we will achieve 2011 full year [earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization] in line with expectations. Lower-than-expected net financing charges will benefit reported profit before tax.”
Analysts are forecasting EBITDA of between $1.2 billion and $1.3 billion.
“Whilst ... uncertainty remains as we enter 2012, we continue to concentrate on delivering an improved operational and financial performance over 2011,” Sharaf said.
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