Germany: HHLA Expands Its Market Position
Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) expanded its position in a difficult market environment during the 2012 financial year and increased its market share in the North Range to 19.6 %.
Following the realignment of the Intermodal segment and a change in the accounting of fruit logistics, Group revenue declined by 7.3 % to € 1,128.5 million. The operating result was burdened among others by the delay in dredging the river Elbe and decreased by 10.0 % to € 186.3 million (adjusted for a one-off gain of € 17.6 million to € 168.7 million).
With considerable capital expenditure to improve the performance of its container terminals and the realignment of the transport companies in the Intermodal segment, HHLA took major steps to prepare the company for its future development.
For the 2013 financial year, HHLA expects Group revenue to reach between € 1.1 billion and € 1.2 billion and an operating result in the range of € 155 million to € 175 million.
“We are satisfied with how the 2012 financial year unfolded. Despite a gloomier market environment, we performed well against our major competitors and expanded our position, even though our operating margin fell slightly. However, it is still clearly in a double-digit range. We have therefore completely matched our forecast made in July 2012,” stated HHLA’s Chairman of the Executive Board, Klaus-Dieter Peters, when presenting the annual results for 2012.
“With the realignment of our rail companies, the far-reaching modernisation measures at our container terminals and the associated capital expenditure, we have taken major steps over the previous year to prepare the way for the company’s future development and growth. Even though our investments in the future do not translate immediately into higher profits, we continue to maintain an excellent liquidity position and a solid balance sheet structure. This enables us to propose once again a dividend payment of € 0.65 per dividend-entitled Class A share.”
The forecast made in July 2012 set Group targets of around € 1.1 billion for revenue and between € 170 million and € 190 million for EBIT.
2013 Business Forecast
The prospects for the global economy continue to be fraught with considerable uncertainty. Nevertheless, it appears that the global economic downturn has been decelerated for the time being. Current forecasts expect container handling volumes to remain flat in Northern Europe, with transport volumes in Germany increasing slightly in 2013.
The dredging of the river Elbe remains of particular importance. It is not currently possible to predict if work can begin in 2013 or not. Should the economic situation take a turn for the better and the global economy experience modest growth, HHLA expects container throughput to remain at the level seen in 2012, container transport by rail to increase significantly and Group revenue to rise slightly, with a high operating result just below that of the previous year (the 2012 operating result (EBIT) includes a one-off gain arising from the change in the ownership structure in the Intermodal segment).
Total Group revenue is expected to range between € 1.1 billion and € 1.2 billion, with the operating result coming to between € 155 million and € 175 million. In view of the lingering difficult market environment, it is expected to only be possible to compensate for rising costs to a limited extent again in 2013.
Press Release, March 27, 2013