China Merchants Holdings reported a 5.2 percent year-over-year drop in net profit for 2011 even as the volume of containers handled by its terminals increased 9.6 percent.
The Hong Kong-based terminal operator earned a profit of US$717 million in the year ended Dec. 31, compared to US$757 million in 2010.
Board Chairman Dr. Fu Yuning attributed the drop to “significantly higher income tax obligations, thanks to the container throughput growth and ongoing efficiency improvements.”
Exclusive content for JOC members from TPM 2012: China Merchants Holdings’ Hu Discusses Terminal Traffic, Economy (Video)
The group said it is not optimistic about global economic prospects in 2012 because of the European recession and is taking a “prudent attitude” toward the port industry in China. “It is anticipated the year-on-year growth of the total container volume handled by the group will continue to slow down in 2012,” it said in its earnings statement.
Total group revenue rose 33.0 percent year-over-year in 2011 to $5.28 billion. Revenue attributable to the group’s core port operations increased 13.5 percent to US$1.93 billion.
China Merchants’ ports, which include facilities in Shanghai, Shenzhen and Ningbo, boosted container volumes to 57.3 million 20-foot equivalent units from 52.3 million in 2010. Bulk throughput increased 15.5 percent to 325 million tons.
Group earnings before taxes depreciation and amortization increased 10.4 percent to US$1.1 billion.