APM Terminals profit slumped and revenue stalled in the first quarter as lower traffic at its European container terminals and the loss of a key U.S. contract offset gains in emerging growth markets.
Net operating earnings fell to $166 million from a $226 million profit a year earlier that was bloated by a $73 million gain, mainly from the sale of Maersk Equipment Service in the U.S. and a 50 percent stake in a terminal in Xiamen, China.
Revenue was unchanged at $1.04 billion and throughput also stalled, at 8.6 million 20-foot-equivalent units, on lower activity in Europe and the U.S. and reduced inland operations following the sale of Maersk Equipment.
The loss of a large contract in Los Angeles reduced total traffic by 2 percent, the company said.
As a result, A.P. Moller-Maersk’s port unit trailed the global market, which grew an estimated 3 percent during the quarter.
“The push into growth markets still has not taken effect yet,” said Nils Andersen, CEO of Copenhagen-based A.P. Moller-Maersk.
Volumes handled by third-party customers, excluding sister company Maersk Line, grew 9 percent in the quarter to reach 50 percent of total traffic, up from 46 percent in the first quarter of 2012.
Construction of a container terminal in Santos, Brazil, has been completed, and operations are expected to begin during the second quarter. Volume will ramp up in the second half when dredging of the port is completed, the company said.
APM Terminals signed a strategic partnership with Turkey’s Petkim group during the quarter to build and operate the new Aegean Gateway Terminal, near Izmir. It is also in a consortium with French companies Bollore Africa Logistics and Bouygues that was named preferred bidder to manage a second container terminal in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.