Hamburg News: Hafen und Logistik - Shipping-Container-Schiff - © HMG Christian Spahrbier

HHLA Grows Despite Economic Crises in Russia and Ukraine

Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) increased its revenue by six per cent to 906.7 million euro in the first nine months of 2014

Growth in the operating result (EBIT) was even stronger at 10.9 per cent. The company upped its operating result to 131.3 million euro in the first three quarters. The group increased its hinterland transport volume by more than ten per cent, and experienced further growth in its container throughput. The pace of growth was restricted, however, by a decrease in feeder traffic at HHLA’s Hamburg terminals which stemmed partly from a significant reduction in traffic with Russia. The economic impact of the conflict in Ukraine also affected the rate of throughput growth.

Positive Development of Results And Revenue

Revenue and the operating result developed pleasingly: both outperformed volume growth of HHLA. Amongst other things, this was attributable to operational improvements, moves to optimise the cost of coping with peak loads, and a noticeable increase in the proportion of higher-revenue and higher-margin overseas traffic in the handling mix. “Our strategy of expanding capacity in line with demand, boosting mega-ship handling efficiency and driving growth in our hinterland transport services has been validated once again,” said Klaus-Dieter Peters, Chairman of HHLA’s Executive Board.

HHLA’s Hinterland Strategy Continuously Successful

HHLA’s Intermodal companies, which provide road- and rail-bound transportation in the European hinterland, generated clear growth in the first nine months of the year and succeeded in gaining market share despite operating in a highly competitive environment. They transported 973 thousand standard containers (TEU) , and thus 10.2 per cent more than in the same period of the previous year. This growth was partly driven by transport connections with the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. The transport links with Germany, Austria and Switzerland which were launched in late 2012 also recorded substantial growth, contributing to this increase as well.

Far East Traffic Triggers Growth

HHLA’s Hamburg terminals increased their throughput by 1.8 per cent in the first nine months despite a five per cent drop in feeder traffic, especially with Russia. Having considerably improved its market position in Northern Europe recently, HHLA almost retained its strong standing. This was primarily due to further marked growth of 8.5 per cent in Far East traffic. Even though container throughput in Odessa fell due to the conflict in Ukraine, total container throughput at all HHLA terminals in both Hamburg and Odessa still increased by 0.3 per cent.

Forecast for the Year 2014

For the full financial year, HHLA expects 2014 throughput volume to be slightly higher compared to previous year’s figures, with significant growth in container transport still anticipated. Bearing this in mind, HHLA anticipates its annual revenue to exceed last year’s figure and expects operating results on group level to rise to somewhere between 138 million and 158 million euro.

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