HHLA has downgraded its revenue and earnings guidance for 2012 after the port of Hamburg’s biggest stevedore posted a 22.6 percent drop in first quarter operating profit.
The company, which handles two thirds of Hamburg’s container traffic, is now forecasting 2012 revenue will shrink to $1.4 billion from $1.5 billion last year, compared with a March 30 forecast of 5 percent growth.
HHLA expects an operating profit of “at least” $254 million, down from its earlier forecast of a 5 percent increase on the $264 million profit booked in 2011.
The drop in first quarter profit to $43.2 million was due to terminal reorganization, a higher share of low-margin European feeder shipments in the traffic mix and delays in dredging the river Elbe which increased ship handling costs, HHLA said.
Storage fees declined compared with the first quarter of 2011 when a long freeze in the Baltic Sea created a container tailback in the port of Hamburg.
First quarter revenue dipped 1 percent to $364 million, and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization were 14.7 percent lower at $81.3 million. Net profit slumped 41 percent to $12.3 million.
Container traffic grew 4.7 percent to 1.7 million 20-foot equivalent units.
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