Hamburger Hafen Raises Volume Forecast as Far East Trade Revives

Hamburger Hafen & Logistik AG (HHFA), the handler of about 80 percent of containers at the Hamburg port, raised its 2013 volume forecast after Far East trade gathered pace and Baltic Sea traffic grew.

HHLA expects single-digit percentage growth in the number of standard 20-foot containers handled in Hamburg and its Black Sea terminal in Odessa, Ukraine, the company said today in a statement. The transport company previously anticipated that volume would be similar to the prior year’s level.

HHLA, which also operates land-transport, real estate and logistic units, reported a 6.8 percent increase to 3.8 million containers in the first half. Earnings before interest and taxes at its container unit gained 3 percent to 68.8 million euros ($91.2 million). Trade with the Far East grew 8.5 percent, making up 43.5 percent of all containers handled by the company in Hamburg.

“This success is primarily due to the strong growth in European feeder traffic to the Baltic Sea and a substantial recovery in the handling of containers from the Far East in Hamburg,” the company said.

First-half earnings fell 14 percent to 81 million euros, the company said. The modernization of the Burchardkai terminal in Hamburg and flood-related losses in its land-transport unit led to the decline, while a property sale inflated the year-ago figure, said Karl Olaf Petters, spokesman for HHLA, by phone.

HHLA reiterated its full year forecast for revenue of 1.1 billion euros to 1.2 billion euros. The company also said it expects Ebit at the lower half of its previously anticipated range of 155 million euros to 175 million euros.

HHLA shares fell as much as 0.9 percent and traded 0.7 percent lower at 17.37 euros as of 11:50 a.m. in Frankfurt, valuing the company at 1.3 billion euros.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nicholas Brautlecht in Hamburg at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Angela Cullen at

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