DP World’s container traffic increased 7.5 percent in the first half of 2012 from a year ago as strong growth in the Asia-Pacific region and the Indian subcontinent outweighed sluggish activity across Europe.
Dubai’s state-controlled port operator, the world’s third largest, handled 28.2 million 20-foot-equivalent units across its global network of over 60 terminals in the six months to June 30, compared with 26.2 million TEUs in the year-earlier period.
The group’s consolidated terminals handled 13.6 million TEUs, an increase of 0.9 percent on the first half of 2011. Underlying growth would have been 5.5 percent had its five Australian terminals had not been deconsolidated in mid-March following the $1.5 billion sale of a 75 percent stake to U.S.-based Citi Infrastructure Investors.
“The global macroeconomic uncertainty seen in the first quarter of the year has continued, and if anything, has increased through the second quarter,” said DP World Chief Executive Mohammed Sharaf.
“Despite this more challenging environment, the majority of our global portfolio continues to show resilience and we remain committed to delivering an improved operational and financial performance over 2011,” he said.
The Asia-Pacific and Indian subcontinent region increased volume by 12.1 percent to 13.3 million TEUs, driven by growth at the Asia-Pacific terminals and new capacity across the entire region.
Terminals in the Americas and Australia boosted traffic by 6.1 percent to 3.3 million TEUs as solid growth in the Americas “mitigated a more challenge environment in Australia.”
Traffic in Europe, the Middle East and Africa rose just 3.2 percent to 11.6 million, as weaker growth in Europe masked a stronger performance across the rest of the region, including the flagship Jebel Ali terminal in the United Arab Emirates, which increased volume by 7.3 percent to 6.6 million TEUs.
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