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HHLA aiming to become engine of change in Port of Hamburg

Slightly improved results in 2016, steady developments expected in 2017 - digitalisation is latest business sector

Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) aims to create new growth opportunities by developing digital business sectors and digitalised, technological solutions. Speaking during the company’s financial press conference Thursday (March 30, 2017), Angela Titzrath, Chairwoman of the Executive Board, stressed HHLA’s strengths as a very successful Intermodal segment and as an innovative company with years of experience in the container business.

Swift solutions needed in wake of ruling on fairway adjustment

HHLA’s foundation is solid, said Titzrath, who been at the helm since January 1, 2017. The company’s existing strengths do not automatically guarantee long-term security, given the persistently challenging environment for the company’s business, she noted. Tiztrath called for a swift solution to outstanding issues that have arisen in the wake of the Federal Administrative Court’s ruling on dredging the river Elbe. “The earlier the work begins, the better,” she added.

Digitalisation to become new business sector

HHLA aims to establish digitalisation as a new business area and to successfully and sustainably increase it´s company value. Titzrath noted: “We operate at an essential interface for the transport chain.” This allows HHLA to identify commercially successful digital initiatives and to implement them with partners to benefit the company. The logistic company intends to become “the engine of digital change in the Port of Hamburg”; she added and did not rule out investments by HHLA in terminals outside of Hamburg. Commenting on the port’s importance, she noted: “If Hamburg is the gateway to the world, then sometimes we have to pass through the gate to look around with eager eyes and see where other attractive opportunities may lie.”

Stable performance expected in 2017 business year

HHLA’s Executive Board is expecting a steady business performance in 2017 and has forecast an operating result (EBIT) of between EUR 130 million to EUR 160 million in view of the partially volatile operating environment. The board has anticipated EBIT in the range of EUR 115 million to EUR 145 million for the listed Port Logistics subgroup. Container handling volumes similar to those in 2016 are expected this year and the positive trend in container transport is likely to continue with revenue remaining on the previous year’s level.

Slight increase in throughput, significant growth in transport

In 2016, HHLA reported group revenue of nearly EUR 1.2 billion. The Port Logistics subgroup generated revenue of approximately EUR 1.1 billion. Both the group and the subgroup have surpassed the previous year’s figure by 3.1 per cent. While the group’s EBIT increased by 4.8 per cent to EUR 164 million, that of the Port Logistics subgroup rose by 4.7 per cent to EUR 147.6 million. EBIT was thus slightly higher than the figure forecast last autumn.

The volume of containers transported rose by 6.8 per cent to 1.4 million standard containers (TEU) due mainly to the two HHLA rail subsidiaries. The container segment handled a total of 6.7 million TEU – an increase of 1.5 per cent over 2015.

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