Dubai’s DP World , the world’s third biggest port operator, reported a 7.5 per cent rise in gross container volumes for the first half of this year but said uncertainty in the global economy was slowing growth of the industry.
DP World, one of the more profitable assets of Dubai World , said on Wednesday it handled 28.2 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent container units) in the six months to June 30. This compared to 26.2 million TEU a year earlier.
Volumes at DP World’s consolidated terminals rose only marginally in the first half, to 13.6 million TEU from 13.5 million.
“We are not seeing double-digit numbers as we saw earlier. There is some impact (of the global uncertainty) in terms of growth…but we continue to grow at a rate faster than the industry,” chief financial officer Yuvraj Narayan said in a conference call after the earnings release.
Weak trade in Europe was offset by growth in the Asia-Pacific region and the Indian subcontinent; combined volumes in those regions rose 12.1 per cent to 13.3 million TEU. The Europe, Middle East and Africa grew 3.2 per cent to 11.6 million TEU.
“The global macroeconomic uncertainty seen in the first quarter of the year has continued, and if anything, has increased through the second quarter,” chief executive Mohammed Sharaf said in a statement.
The port operator was forced to hand over its 60-per cent holding in Adelaide’s container terminal to Flinders Port in July, after the Australian firm exercised its right to buy the stake.
Shares in DP World are up 4.8 per cent on Nasdaq Dubai this year.