HHLA’s net profit slumped 18.9 percent in 2012 on rising costs even as Hamburg’s biggest stevedore increased container traffic amid a slump in Asian imports and boosted its market share in the North European port range.
Post-tax profit fell to 72.4 million euros ($92.7 million) from 89.3 million euros ($113.4 million) in 2011, and revenue was 7.3 percent lower at 1.13 billion euros ($ 1.4 billion) because of the disposal of a stake in intermodal operator TFG Transfracht.
HHLA attributed a 10 percent decline in operating profit to $ 237 million to additional costs incurred from further delay in deepening the navigation channel of the River Elbe, which connects Hamburg to the open sea, increased staff costs and a higher proportion of lower-margin feeder traffic.
Traffic grew 1.4 percent to 7.2 million 20-foot-equivalent units, split between 6.85 million TEUs in Hamburg and 329,000 TEUs in Odessa, Ukraine.
Traffic tumbled 8.3 percent on Far East routes to 2.97 million TEUs but surged 19.4 percent on North American trades to 535,000 TEUs, or 7.8 percent of total container throughput.
HHLA said it expects traffic in 2013 to remain at last year’s level in a flat north European market “should the economic situation take a turn for the better and the global economy experience modest growth.”
The company expects to generate revenue of $1.27 billion to $1.52 billion and operating profit of $197 million to $222 million in 2013.