Dubai’s DP World posts 10% rise in 2018 profit despite global trade tensions

The company’s full-year revenue was $5.65bn versus $4.72bn a year ago

DP World, one of the world’s biggest port operators, said on Thursday its business could weather international trade tensions, after reporting a 10.2 per cent rise in 2018 profit.

“Current year has started with trading in line with expectations and whilst the near-term outlook remains uncertain with the trade war and geopolitical headwinds, we expect our portfolio to remain resilient and see increased contributions from our recent acquisitions and investments,” Sultan bin Sulayem, DP World chairman, said in a statement.

The Dubai state controlled firm said it made a profit attributable to owners after separately disclosed items of $1.3bn compared to $1.18bn in 2017.

Revenue increased 19.8 per cent to $5.6bn and the board recommended increasing the dividend by 5 per cent to $366m, or 43 cents per share.

DP World said last month that container volumes across its global terminals had risen 2 per cent to 71.4 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU).

It said on Thursday it invested $908m across its portfolio in 2018, less than the firm’s $1.4bn capital expenditure guidance for the year.

The company expects capex of $1.4bn in 2019, mainly in the UAE where its flagship Jebel Ali Port is located, Ecuador, Somalia’s breakaway region of Somaliland, and Egypt.