Dubai's DP World H1 net profit up 9.1%

Group CEO said market conditions were still challenging in some regions

DP World, the world's third-largest port operator, reported a 9.1 percent rise in attributable profit for the first half of the year on Thursday, but warned of continued uncertainty and challenging market conditions in some regions.

The company, one of the more profitable assets of debt-laden Dubai World, posted a first-half net attributable profit of $264m, compared with $242m in the corresponding period of 2012, it said in a statement on Thursday.

DP World has been selling assets globally, exiting markets where it does not have a significant presence and seeking to redeploy funds in fast-growing regions. The company said it was confident of meeting full year expectations despite an uncertain market outlook.

"The outlook remains uncertain and market conditions in some regions are undoubtedly challenging," said Mohammed Sharaf, DP World's group chief executive.

"We continue to focus on delivering efficiencies, containing costs and handling higher margin containers to drive profitability and, in light of improving momentum seen through the first half, remain confident of meeting full year expectations," he said.

Resilience in its Middle East and Africa portfolio mitigated the weaker Europe market, the company said. Revenue for the six months ended on June 30 was little changed at $1.51bn compared with $1.53bn in the prior-year period.

DP World said it had realised $158m of profit from monetisation of assets this year. It sold stakes in two container terminals and a logistics centre in Hong Kong for $742m in March.

The Hong Kong sale was one of the largest assets sold since it offloaded its Australian business more than two years ago.

Sharaf said $544m had been invested this year and the firm was on track to meet its $3.7bn capital expenditure programme.

DP World shares have risen 33 percent year-to-date on the Nasdaq Dubai bourse. The stock is also traded on the London Stock Exchange.

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