DP World, one of the world’s largest port operators, said container volumes rose 14 per cent last year fuelled by growth in Asia, Australia and the Americas, as well as the addition of new terminals.
DP World handled 49.6 million twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEU) at its 50 terminals in 2010. In the fourth quarter, volumes rose nine per cent, the company said in a statement.
The company, part of state-linked conglomerate Dubai World, also added new terminals in China and Peru which became operational last year.
“Volume growth was fuelled by strong performance in Australia, America and Asia Pacific regions as well as the continuing return of volumes to the European region,” DP World said in a statement.
Commenting on the achievement, DP World CEO Mohammed Sharaf said, “Handling 50 million TEUs across our global portfolio is a major milestone for DP World and puts our annual throughput for 2010 well ahead of historic peak levels seen in 2008 reflecting the faster growing emerging market focus of our portfolio.”
“The UAE region has gone from strength to strength during 2010 ending the year with a record second half performance. We are delighted to see the region back at 2008 levels reflecting the strong growth in both the UAE and the broader Middle East economies which our terminals support,” he observed.
According to Sharaf, these results reflect the continued position of Jebel Ali as the premier gateway for cargo into the Middle East.
“This excellent performance in the second half of the year will lead to a stronger financial performance and we expect to report full year financial results in line with expectations and well ahead of the prior year,” he noted.
“As we enter 2011, we expect to see our terminal operations build on the operational and financial performance of 2010 reflecting our unique portfolio which focuses on both faster growing emerging markets and origin and destination cargo,” Sharaf said.
“We remain confident about the long term outlook for the container terminal industry and our strong competitive position within it,” he added.
DP World, one of the more profitable units of debt-laden Dubai World, sold 75 per cent of its Australian port operations for $1.5 billion in December. The move was aimed at cutting debt and focusing on emerging markets.
Earlier this week, a senior executive said DP World was under no pressure from the Dubai government to sell its assets for debt repayment.