The world’s third-largest ports company said gross container volumes were up two per cent to 56 million twenty-foot equivalent units on growth in Africa, the Middle East, South America and Asia.
Revenue for the period rose five per cent to $3.1 billion driven by strong growth in the Middle East, Europe and Africa region.
The rise in net profit attributable to shareholders beat mean estimates of $511 million by analysts. Profit attributable to owners of the company was 10 per cent ahead at $749 million, the company said in a statement.
DP World Chairman, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem said the increased profit for the year followed a strong year of operational performance from the company’s global operations, prudent financial management and proactive management of assets. “This year, we have continued to actively manage our portfolio to maximum advantage, divesting non-core or low return assets. This has enabled us to move capital into those markets where we see more profitable returns whilst strengthening our capital base,” he said.
DP World announced the sale of its stakes in two Hong Kong container terminals and a logistics centre for $742 million this month as part of a strategy to sell non-core assets and refocus on its strength in emerging markets. It made $249 million from asset sales in Australia, Europe and the Middle East last year.
The port operator, which manages more than 60 terminals across the globe, announced a dividend of $199 million, or 24 US cents per share; 10 per cent increase in ordinary dividend to 21 US cents per share and special dividend of three US cents per share.
“Adjusted EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA margin increased to $1.407 billion and 45.1 per cent respectively. Our focus on improving customer service through improved efficiencies and productivity has led to higher utilisation and EBITDA margin particularly in the Asia Pacific and Indian Subcontinent region and the Middle East, Europe and Africa region,” the statement said.
DP World continues to improve cash generation with net cash from operating activities at $1.231 billion. This has helped reduce net debt to $2.9 billion and strengthen balance sheet, positioning the company strongly as it continue to invest in quality long term assets, the statement said.
“Delivering this improvement in profits during what has been a challenging operating environment shows that our portfolio is focused on the right markets, and on delivering the right operations and service to our customers,” said bin Sulayem.
DP World Group Chief Executive, Mohammed Sharaf said in 2012, the company focused on its existing operations through the delivery of exceptional customer service from improved efficiencies in its terminals. “This has allowed us to deliver good revenue growth and manage costs, resulting in a significant improvement. While the operating environment has remained challenging in some of our regions, it is the strength of our operations in Africa, Middle East, South America and Asia, which has supported our improvement in adjusted EBITDA to $1,407 million.”
The company invested $685 million across its portfolio last year. Sharaf said over the next two years, DP World would deliver a further 10 million TEU of new capacity. The first of this will come on stream in the next few months at Jebel Ali, with Embraport (Brazil) and London Gateway opening later this year. The fourth, the new terminal at Jebel Ali, is well underway and set to open next year. “We are in no doubt that the delivery of this new capacity will be transformational for DP World over the medium term,” he said.
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