Hamburger Hafen Container Volume Rises as Asia Trade Gains Pace

Hamburger Hafen & Logistik AG (HHFA), the handler of about three in four containers at Hamburg’s port, said first-quarter volume rose as traffic from the Far East grew, while warning that the crisis in Ukraine may hurt results.

Container volume increased 2.4 percent to 1.9 million standard containers, or TEUs, the Hamburg-based terminal operator said in a statement today.

“Considerable growth of 8.1 percent in Far East cargo at the HHLA terminals in Hamburg played a substantial role here,” the company said.

Hamburg, Europe’s second-biggest container port, competes with other north European ports such as Rotterdam and Antwerp, Belgium, for traffic from Asia, particularly China, which is Hamburg’s biggest trading partner. HHLA said operating profit rose 4.8 percent to 39.3 million euros ($54 million) in the quarter, while reiterating that matching last year’s earnings in 2014 remains “an ambitious target.”

The company, which also runs a container terminal in the Ukrainian port of Odessa, warned that the crisis in Ukraine may harm its results. Still, the decline in quarterly volume in Odessa was “only partly attributable to the political crisis,” it said.

Revenue rose by 6.8 percent to 293.5 million euros in the quarter, while HHLA expects a slight increase in sales and in container throughput in the full year, it said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nicholas Brautlecht in Hamburg at nbrautlecht@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Angela Cullen at acullen8@bloomberg.net Kim McLaughlin, Robert Valpuesta

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