HHLA achieves good result in a challenging environment
Despite ongoing disruptions to global supply chains, Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) recorded a positive trend in revenue and earnings in the first nine months of the year. The company benefitted in particular from a further rise in storage fees in the Container segment resulting from much longer dwell times for containers at HHLA facilities, as well as from a further increase in the rail share of HHLA’s total intermodal transport volumes and temporary surcharges to partially offset the strong rise in energy prices.
Revenue in the HHLA Group rose by 8.7 percent to € 1,172.7 million (previous year: € 1,078.9 million). The Group operating result (EBIT) decreased slightly, however, by 1.2 percent to € 160.1 million (previous year: € 162.1 million). The EBIT margin amounted to 13.7 percent (previous year: 15.0 percent). Profit after tax and minority interests came to € 69.8 million, down strongly on the previous year (previous year: € 79.4 million).
The war in Ukraine, high energy prices, rising personnel and procurement expenses, disruption in global supply chains and growing recessionary tendencies also impact our business. Despite all this, HHLA achieved a positive result in the first nine months of 2022. As such, we are confident that we will be able to achieve our targets for the 2022 financial year. Thanks to the determined implementation of our strategy, which is focussed on growth and sustainability, we are able to strengthen the resilience of HHLA” said Angela Titzrath, Chairwoman of HHLA’s Executive Board
The listed Port Logistics subgroup recorded an increase of 8.3 percent in revenue to € 1,145.8 million in the first nine months (previous year: € 1,057.5 million). The operating result (EBIT) decreased by 4.0 percent to € 145.3 million (previous year: € 151.3 million). At 12.7 percent, the EBIT margin remained below the previous year’s figure (previous year: 14.3 percent). Profit after tax and minority interests decreased by 16.1 percent to € 61.3 million (previous year: € 73.1 million). Earnings per share thus amounted to € 0.85 (previous year: € 1.02).
In the Container segment, the throughput volume at all of HHLA’s container terminals decreased overall by 5.7 percent to 4,869 thousand standard containers (TEU) (previous year: 5,165 thousand TEU). At 4,605 thousand TEU, throughput volume at the Hamburg container terminals was down 2.3 percent on the same period last year (previous year: 4,712 thousand TEU). This was mainly driven by limited handling capacity due to the high utilisation of storage capacity owing to the rise in dwell times for import and export containers at the Port of Hamburg. On the other hand, container throughput was also impacted by reduced cargo volumes from North America and, above all, Far East shipping regions – with the exception of China.
The international container terminals reported a strong decline in throughput volume of 41.7 percent to 264 thousand TEU (previous year: 453 thousand TEU). This was due to the significant decline in cargo volumes at the terminal in Odessa after seaborne handling there was suspended by the authorities at the end of February following the Russian invasion. A strong increase in volume at the TK Estonia container terminal resulting from the increased use of the terminal as an alternative to Russian ports, along with additional throughput volumes for PLT Italy in Trieste, were not able to fully offset the decrease in Odessa as a result of the war.
Despite the drop in volumes, segment revenue rose significantly year-on-year by 5.4 percent to € 653.2 million (previous year: € 620.0 million). The principal reason for this was the strong rise in storage fees at the container terminals in Hamburg, Tallinn and Trieste. The increase in storage fees was due to longer dwell times caused by disruptions to supply chains. Furthermore, additional revenue from RoRo and break bulk handling at PLT Italy had a positive effect.
The Intermodal segment recorded a slight increase in volumes in the first nine months of the year. Container transport increased by 0.9 percent to 1,266 thousand TEU (previous year: 1,254 thousand TEU).
Rail transport rose by 3.3 percent year-on-year to 1,054 thousand TEU (previous year: 1,021 thousand TEU). This development was driven by moderate growth for traffic with the North German seaports, a strong increase in Polish traffic and a significant increase in the German-speaking market. Transport with the Adriatic seaports, however, was slightly down on last year. Road transport also saw a significant decrease of 9.4 percent to 211 thousand TEU (previous year: 233 thousand TEU).
Revenue rose by 12.6 percent to € 431.4 million (previous year: € 383.2 million). This was due to the further increase in the rail share of HHLA’s total intermodal transport volumes from 81.4 percent to 83.3 percent, as well as temporary surcharges for rail transport that were required in order to partially offset the spike in energy prices.