HHLA, Hamburg’s biggest stevedore, reported that revenue and earnings declined in the first nine months of 2012 from a year ago as restructuring costs at its intermodal unit outweighed the impact of higher deep-sea container volumes.
Operating profit fell 12.6 percent to 143.8 million euros [$182.6 million] from $209 million and revenue slipped 7.2 percent to $1.07 billion.
Profit after tax and minority interests was down 2.1 percent from a year ago at $81.3 million.
Container traffic at HHLA’s terminals in Hamburg and Odessa, Ukraine, grew 1.9 percent to 5.4 20-foot-equivalent units. Intermodal volume slumped 33.4 percent to 949,000 TEUs, reflecting the disposal of stakes in rail-based intermodal companies.
The company cut its planned investments for the 2012 financial year from around $350 million to $254 million. The postponed spending related mainly to increases in container capacity.
“As we expected, the economic environment continued to deteriorate over the course of the third quarter of 2012. On the basis of our performance to date we are nevertheless able to continue our forecast for the full year 2012,” said Klaus-Dieter Peters, Chairman of the HHLA Executive Board.
“We continue to expect container throughput on a par with last year and on this basis are aiming for revenue in the region of [$1.6 billion] and an operating profit in the range of [$216 million] to [$229 million].”
HHLA said it had taken numerous steps during the year that increased its productivity in handling the growing number of giant container ships calling at Hamburg, despite the further delay in deepening the navigation channel of the river Elbe that links the port to the open sea.