DP World, a Dubai-based global port operator is expected to deliver a “relatively stable” financial result in 2020 after announcing a 1.9 percent rise in Europe, Middle East and Africa’s third-quarter gross container volumes.
The company said in a statement that in the three months ended in September, the company handled 18.3 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) across its global container terminal portfolio, up from 17.7 million TEUs in the same quarter a year earlier.
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the downturn in economic activity has amplified domestic shocks across the world and has led to a contraction of global trade. Compared with last year’s growth of 1 percent, trade is now expected to shrink 10.4 percent globally this year due to poor demand, the deterioration of the tourism industry and supply disruptions linked to shutdowns. It is expected to grow next year by 8.3 percent.
DP World, which operates ports and cargo terminals across the world including London and Antwerp, hubs in Africa, Russia, India and the Americas, handled 52.2 million TEUs in the first nine months of the year. Compared to the same duration in 2019, that is a 2.5 percent decrease on a published basis and 2 percent lower on a like-for-like basis.
Sultan bin Sulayem, DP World’s chairman and group chief executive said, “The nine-month solid volume performance leaves us well placed to deliver a relatively stable financial performance in 2020 and we remain confident of meeting our 2022 targets.”
“India, which witnessed a sharp slowdown in Q2-2020, saw a significant volume improvement versus the second quarter, while Jebel Ali delivered 3.4 percent growth against the previous quarter. During this challenging period, we have focused on maintaining efficient supply chains to sustain the delivery of critical and essential cargo. This performance is ahead of expectations and once again illustrates the resilience of the global container industry – and DP World’s continued ability to outperform the market. Our strategy to provide solutions to cargo owners has served us well, and our aim is to continue to build on this momentum.”
DP World’s flagship Jebel Ali port handled 3.4 million TEUs in the third quarter, down 4.2 percent year-on-year. It handled 10.1 million TEUs in the first nine months of the year, a drop of 5.9 percent in the same period in 2019.
During the third quarter, it’s three other regions showed positive growth. Container volumes in Europe, the Middle East and Africa increased 2.7 percent on a like-for-like basis, the Americas and Australia rose 2.4 percent while Asia Pacific and India inched up 0.9 percent.
“While we are encouraged by the recent volume trends, the outlook remains uncertain given the possibility of new lockdowns due to COVID-19 second wave, geopolitical uncertainty with US elections and lack of progress made on trade wars,” said Mr. bin Sulayem.
“Looking ahead, we remain focused on containing costs to protect profitability and managing growth CAPEX to preserve cash flow,” he further added.