DP World Ltd. (DPW), the world’s third- largest port operator, expects full-year Ebitda to be“in line with expectations” as container volumes in the Americas, Asia Pacific and the Middle East grew in the first nine months.
Third-quarter container volumes dropped 1 percent to 14.2 million twenty-foot equivalent units across its group of container terminals due to the divestment of three joint-venture terminals and a decline in volumes in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, it said in a statement to Nasdaq Dubai today. Like- for-like growth for that period was 0.5 percent.
“The third quarter of the year has seen a slowdown in container volume growth with some of our regions reporting a small decline in volumes reflecting the challenging macroeconomic environment,” Chief Executive Officer Mohammed Sharaf said in the statement. “Whilst there remains uncertainty within the macro economy, we continue to believe we will achieve Ebitda in line with expectations.” he said without giving details about the company’s forecast for earnings before interest, taxes depreciation, and amortization.
Global container volumes will probably grow 4.3 percent this year, Drewry Shipping Consultants Ltd. said July 3. Because of the weakness in Europe’s economy, the industry won’t have a strong peak season in 2012 and operators will experience some “rate erosion” in the summer, it said. DP World said gross container volumes rose 4.5 percent in first nine months, driven by growth across the Americas, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and the United Arab Emirates.
DP World, which operates more than 60 terminals in six continents, is taking “advantage of opportunities to reposition our portfolio towards higher return businesses where we have management involvement,” Chairman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem said in the statement. Last week the company sold its 25 percent stake in container terminal Vostochnaya Stevedoring Co. to Russia’s Global Ports Investment for $230 million.
“These recent divestments allow us to recycle cash into projects already within our pipeline, such as Jebel Ali and London Gateway and, over time, to invest in new opportunities in line with our strategy, while maintaining balance sheet strength and flexibility,” bin Sulayem said.
The company is ready to look at acquisitions in Latin America to meet demand from customers and has enough cash for investments without needing to sell assets, bin Sulayem said earlier this month.
DP World shares have gained 20.8 percent so far this year. They gained 0.3 percent to $11.65 at 10:53 a.m. in Dubai today.
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