HHLA, Hamburg’s s biggest stevedore, posted lower revenue and earnings in 2012 as a weaker European economy and delayed infrastructure measures outweighed a modest increase in container traffic.
Operating profit declined almost 11 percent to 185 million euros ($250 million) from 207 million euros ($ 279.5million) in 2011, and revenue dipped to 1.125 billion euros ($1.52 billion) from 1.217 billion euros ($1.64 billion).
Container throughput at terminals in Hamburg and Odessa, Ukraine, increased 1.4 percent to 7.2 million 20-foot-equivalent units from 7.1 million TEUs in the previous year. This slightly exceeded expectations in September, when the company forecast flat volume for the full year.
Road and rail traffic into the European hinterland totalled 1.2 million TEUs, of which companies remaining in the HHLA group after it sold some rail-based units accounted for around 1 million TEUs.
“HHLA held its ground well in a difficult market environment in 2012,” said Klaus-Dieter Peters, chairman of HHLA’s executive board. “It earned a premium on its capital costs and was therefore able to increase the company’s value once again.”
HHLA suffered a setback in October when a court halted long-delayed work to deepen the Elbe, Hamburg’s entrance to the open sea, to consider challenges by environmentalists.