DP World's full-year profit rises 5.9% on higher revenue across terminals in 2021

Pandemic, rising inflation and geopolitics continue to cause some uncertainty but medium- to long-term outlook remains 'positive'

Sultan bin Sulayem, group chairman and chief executive of DP World. Photo: DP World

DP World, one of the world's largest port operators, said its annual profit rose by 5.9 per cent in 2021, fuelled by higher revenue from acquisitions and new concessions and fast-growing trade lanes in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Profit attributable to owners of the company, after separately disclosed items during the year, increased to $896 million, up from $846m in 2020, DP World said on Thursday in a regulatory filing to Nasdaq Dubai.

Revenue grew 26.3 per cent a year to $10.77 billion on a reported basis.

“Growth was broad-based across our terminals and logistics assets as we begin to drive synergies across our portfolio,” said Sultan bin Sulayem, DP World's group chairman and chief executive.

“This significant growth, once again, demonstrates that our strategy to deliver integrated supply chain solutions will drive sustainable long-term returns.”

The Covid-19 pandemic led to supply chain disruptions and a surge in e-commerce demand that drove up the price of shipping goods and hampered capacity at major ports.

DP World reported a 9.4 per cent rise in container volumes last year, handling 77.9 million 20-foot equivalent units, or TEUs, across its global portfolio, with the Asia-Pacific, India, the Americas and Australia regions recording double-digit growth.

DP World's adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) grew by $500m to a record of $3.8bn in 2021, the company said.

Cash from operating activities increased 27.3 per cent a year to a record $3.69bn in 2021 while capital expenditure rose to $1.39bn in 2021, up from $1.07bn in 2020, as the company invested across its existing portfolio.

DP World last month concluded its acquisition of South Africa’s Imperial Logistics after all conditions, including regulatory approval, were met. The deal will strengthen the ports operator's position in Africa.

Capital expenditure guidance for 2022 is at $1.4bn, with investments planned into the UAE, Jeddah, London Gateway, Berbera in Somaliland, Sokhna in Egypt, Indonesia and Callao in Peru, DP World said.

The company had an “encouraging start” to trading in 2022 and remains focused on delivering integrated supply chain services to cargo owners, it said.

The medium-to-long term outlook remains “positive” but factors such as rising inflation and geopolitics continue to cause some uncertainty within the global economy, the company said.

“Looking ahead to 2022, we expect our portfolio to continue to deliver growth and while the year has started encouragingly, we remain mindful that the geopolitical uncertainty, Covid-19 pandemic, continued supply chain disruptions and rising inflation could hinder the global economic recovery,” Mr bin Sulayem said.

Updated: March 10, 2022, 3:13 PM