Economic difficulties continue to impact HHLA’s business
2023-11-15 11:25

Economic difficulties continue to impact HHLA’s business

The following release was published by HHLA

  • Chief Executive Officer, Angela Titzrath: ”The economic situation continues to impact HHLA’s business performance. We are therefore consistently working, even in unsettled times, on our efficiency programme and continuing our sustainability initiatives.”
  • Container throughput decreases by 8.5 percent to 4,455 thousand TEU
  • Container transport drops by 3.4 percent to 1,222 thousand TEU
  • Group revenue of € 1,090.0 million

The revenue and earnings performance of Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) declined in the first nine months of 2023. The ongoing war in Ukraine, geopolitical tensions, inflation and rising interest rates put pressure on consumer and industrial demand and are continuing to hinder the global economic recovery in the aftermath of the pandemic. HHLA’s business performance in the first half of 2023 already reflected the difficult conditions in the market. The significant drop in volumes due to the economic situation that was evident in the first half of 2023 abated in the Container segment thanks to a stronger third quarter, but continued to be challenging for container transport. In addition, shorter dwell times for containers handled at the Hamburg container terminals compared to the same period of the previous year resulted in reduced storage fees. Revenue in the HHLA Group reduced by 7.1 percent to € 1,090.0 million (previous year: € 1,172.7 million). The Group operating result (EBIT) decreased by 52.8 percent to € 75.6 million (previous year: € 160.1 million). The EBIT margin amounted to 6.9 percent (previous year: 13.7 percent). Profit after tax and minority interests came to € 11.9 million (previous year: € 69.8 million).

In the Container segment, container throughput at HHLA’s container terminals decreased year-on-year by 8.5 percent to 4,455 thousand standard containers (TEU) (previous year: 4,869 thousand TEU). At 4,286 thousand TEU, throughput volume at the Hamburg container terminals was down 6.9 percent on the same period last year (previous year: 4,605 thousand TEU). The main driver of this development was the decline in volumes of the Far East shipping region – China in particular. The positive momentum from North American cargo volumes and the throughput volumes of the Middle East were unable to offset this trend. Feeder traffic volumes were also strongly down on the previous year. In addition to the reduction in Swedish and Polish traffic, volumes from Russia were also absent due to the sanctions. The proportion of seaborne handling by feeders amounted to 18.4 percent (previous year: 20.5 percent).

Throughput volume at the international container terminals fell by 36.0 percent year-on-year to 169 thousand TEU (previous year: 264 thousand TEU). This was due in particular to the strong decline in cargo volumes at Container Terminal Odessa (CTO) after seaborne handling there was suspended by the authorities at the end of February 2022 following the Russian invasion. There has also been an absence of extra calls at the TK Estonia container terminal as an alternative to Russian ports in 2023. The notable increase in throughput volumes at the multi-function terminal HHLA PLT Italy was unable to offset this shortfall.

Segment revenue fell by 18.2 percent in the reporting period to € 534.3 million (previous year: € 653.2 million). In addition to the significant decrease in volumes, this was mainly due to shorter dwell times for containers handled at the Hamburg terminals, which had led to increased storage fees in the same period of the previous year due to supply chain disruptions. Against this background, the operating result (EBIT) decreased by 77.6 percent to € 27.3 million (previous year: € 121.7 million). The EBIT margin decreased by 13.5 percentage points to 5.1 percent (previous year: 18.6 percent).

Source: HHLA