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Tue 4 Feb 2020 02:22 PM

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DP World boss sees 'positive signs' despite trade challenges in 2019

Dubai-based port operator DP World handled 71.2 million TEU across its global portfolio of container terminals in 2019, up 1%

DP World boss sees 'positive signs' despite trade challenges in 2019

DP World Group chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem.

Dubai-based port operator DP World handled 71.2 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units) across its global portfolio of container terminals in 2019, with gross container volumes up 1 percent on a like-for-like basis.

Like-for-like gross volumes in the fourth quarter of 2019 accelerated by 2.1 percent with growth driven by Asia Pacific and Africa, the company said in a statement. 

It added that Jebel Ali in Dubai handled 14.1 million TEU in 2019, down 5.6 percent year-on-year due to a decline in low margin cargo.

At a consolidated level, DP World terminals handled 39.9 million TEU in 2019, down 0.5 percent year-on-year on a like-for-like basis.

Group chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem said: “2019 has been a challenging year with the trade war between China and US and regional geopolitics causing uncertainty in the market.

"Despite this, our portfolio has delivered growth which once again demonstrates the resilience of our business. We saw robust growth across Asia and Africa driven by Pusan (South Korea), Qingdao (China), Manila (Philippines) and Jeddah (Saudi Arabia).

"In Europe we saw continued ramp-up in London Gateway (UK) and Yarimca (Turkey) while Prince Rupert (Canada) and Callao (Peru) continued to deliver strong growth. In the UAE, volumes were down due to the loss of low-margin throughput, where we remain focused on high margin cargo and maintaining profitability."

He added that DP World is seeing "positive signs of progress in our new businesses that give us encouragement for the future".

"The near-term focus is on integrating our recent acquisitions, managing costs and disciplined investment to cement DP Worlds position as the logistics partner of choice. Overall, we remain well placed to deliver full year market expectations," he said.

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