DP World records 7.3% gross volume growth in first quarter, remains bullish on 2018

Volumes bolstered by growth in terminals it operates in Europe, Africa and the Middle East

DP World is planning a major logisitics hub in Ethiopia. Charles Crowell / Bloomberg
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Global ports operator DP World reported a 7.3 per cent increase in the first-quarter gross container volumes on a reported basis and said it expects to grow ahead of the market in 2018.

The Dubai state-owned company handled 17.6 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in the three-month period, compared with 16.4 million a year earlier, led by volume growth in terminals it operates in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, it said in a statement to Nasdaq Dubai, where its shares are traded.

“Our portfolio has had an encouraging start to 2018, delivering ahead-of-market growth,” Sultan bin Sulayem, DP World’s chairman, said. “We have the relevant capacity in the right markets.”

The world's fourth biggest port operator, which has terminals from Peru to China, faced headwinds this year in Africa, where it became involved in legal challenges to its operations in Djibouti and Somaliland. The recent woes have not deterred it from investing in the Africa, where it remains bullish on the market’s growth potential, and announced it would invest $1.2 billion in a deep-water port in the Democratic Republic of Congo.


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DP World’s terminals in Europe, Middle East and Africa, which also includes the home port of Jebel Ali in the UAE, recorded the strongest growth in the first quarter, up 9.8 per cent. Container volumes at the UAE terminals grew by 2.9 per cent to 3.8 million TEUs.

“We still expect to grow ahead of the market and see increased contributions from our new investments,” Mr bin Sulayem, said. While the trade environment may appear more benign, geopolitical headwinds in some regions continue to pose uncertainty, he noted.