Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) continued its positive performance in the first nine months of 2019. The company recorded another significant increase in revenue and saw strong growth in its operating result. It was again possible to improve profitability year-on-year in a challenging market environment – November 13, 2019
Container throughput increased moderately due to the successful integration of the Estonian terminal operator HHLA TK Estonia, which was acquired last year, and improved slightly at the Hamburg terminals. A significant rise in container transport was achieved. Including a significant increase in revenue from the logistics segment and a once again moderate increase in revenue from property management, this led to total revenue of €1,044.6 million (+8.3 percent).
The operating result (EBIT) improved strongly by €19.3 million, or 12.4%, to €175.4 million. The positive effects of the initial application of IFRS 16 in the EBIT amounted to approximately €10.6 million.
The listed port logistics subgroup recorded an 8.6% increase in revenue to €1,020.2 million in the first nine months. It was able to grow its operating result (EBIT) by 13.3% to €162.7 million. The EBIT margin improved by 0.6 percentage points to 15.9%.
In the container segment, container throughput increased moderately by 4.0% in the first nine months of 2019 to 5,730,000 standard containers (TEU). In addition to the successful integration of the terminal in Tallinn, there was also a small improvement in throughput volume in Hamburg which contributed to this development. Due to the increase in volume combined with an improvement in average revenue compared to the previous year, revenue increased by 6.0% to €605.5 million. This was caused primarily by an increase in the rail share. The operating result (EBIT) increased by €9.7 million or 9.4% year-on-year to €112.6 million. Of this increase, approximately €8.0 million is attributable to the application of IFRS 16. The EBIT margin improved by 0.6 percentage points to 18.6%.
In the first nine months of 2019, HHLA’s transport companies achieved significant growth in the intermodal segment. With an increase of 7.8%, container transport rose to 1,184,000 TEU. This trend was driven by growth in both rail and road transport. Compared with the previous year, rail transport increased by 7.6% to 930,000 TEU. In a market environment that remains difficult, road transport grew by 8.8% to 254,000 TEU due to the strong increase in delivery volumes. At €367.9 million, revenue was up 13.5% on the prior-year figure and thus performed much better than transport volume. In addition to price adjustments, this strong increase in revenue was due in particular to longer transport distances, while the rail share was largely unchanged from the previous year at 78.5%. The operating result (EBIT) rose by 16.5% to €76.1 million in the reporting period. This marked increase is primarily due to the positive trend in volume and revenue. Additionally, lower route prices in Germany made it possible to increase further the capacity utilisation of train systems. The application of IFRS 16 did not have a major impact on the positive EBIT trend.
As a result of the Group’s performance in the first nine months of 2019, the HHLA Executive Board is updating its assessment of expected earnings for the Group in 2019.
In terms of volume, HHLA now expects a moderate increase in container throughput (previously: slight increase) and a significant increase (previously: slight increase) in container transport. In light of these figures, a significant increase (previously: slight increase) in Group revenue is now expected for 2019.
Whereas HHLA continues to expect a significant increase in operating result (EBIT) at Group level, a moderate increase is now expected for the Container segment (previously: in the region of the previous year) and a strong increase for the Intermodal segment (previously: significant increase).
Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) is a leading European logistics company and operates container terminals in Hamburg, Odessa (Ukraine) and Tallinn (Estonia). HHLA’s intermodal company Metrans connects Hamburg and other ports with Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe via a comprehensive connection and terminal network.