DP World profit may vrise on port network

DUBAI - DP World Ltd., the world's fourth- largest port operator, may this week report first-half profit doubled on African acquisitions and greater handling capacity at its Dubai hub even as the world's biggest economies slow.

By (Bloomberg)

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Mon 25 Aug 2008, 11:20 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 11:57 AM

The 45-terminal operator's net income may reach $244.3 million when it reports August 28, according to the average estimate of three analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The Dubai state-controlled firm said its profit for the same period in 2007 was $111.2 million before separately disclosable items.

"The company's first-half growth is driven by an increase in cargo handling, especially in Jebel Ali, and acquisitions in Africa and Saudi Arabia," analyst Muneeba Kayani at Morgan Stanley said in an e-mail. The Dubai-based analyst has an "equal-weight" recommendation on the stock.

DP World's $4.96 billion-public share sale in November, the Middle East's largest, has left investors disappointed as its shares have dropped 35 per cent to $0.85 since listing on the Dubai International Financial Exchange Ltd. in November.

DP World last month reported container volume jumped 21 per cent in the first half, helped by growth in India and the Middle East. In 2007 the company gained control of Egypt's Sokhna Port at the southern entrance to the Suez Canal, its third on the Red Sea after Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and Djibouti, East Africa. This year it plans to raise the capacity of its base at Jebel Ali port by more than a quarter.

Rapid growth

"DP World operates in regions that are expected to witness a rapid increase in utilization rates and shortage in capacity," Kareem Murad, a Dubai-based analyst at Shuaa Capital PSC who recommends buying the stock, said in an e-mail. "This means margins will improve significantly reflecting positively on the company's earnings."

The port operator now has terminals in 29 countries from Senegal to China, whose economy expanded 11.9 per cent this year. The UAE economy will expand 7 per cent this year, according to a Bloomberg survey.

A year since the US housing slump sparked about $500 billion in credit market losses for banks globally, the world's largest economies are all stumbling as rising borrowing costs combine with record commodity prices to sap growth. The US is close to a recession and the economies of France, Germany and Japan all contracted in the second quarter.

At the 25 terminals where DP World is majority owner or has management control, volume rose 21 per cent to 13.6 million 20- foot containers in the first half. Hong Kong's Hutchison Port Holdings Ltd., Singapore's PSA International Pte. and A.P. Moeller-Maersk of Denmark are DP World's main competitors.

More news from