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HPH Trust sees 2016 volumes fall 6% on lower transhipment, weak intra-Asia trade

HPH Trust sees 2016 volumes fall 6% on lower transhipment, weak intra-Asia trade
Hong Kong and south China-focussed container terminal operator HPH Trust saw throughput at its ports fall 6% in 2016 from the year before as a combination of lower transhipment cargoes and weaker intra-Asia trade hit volumes.

Volumes at Yantian International Container Terminals (YICT) fell 4% to 11.7m teu from 12.2m teu while at its Hong Kong terminals of Hong Kong International Termianals (HIT), COSCO-HIT and Asia Container Terminals (ACT) combined volume fell 8% from 11.8m teu to 10.8m teu.

HPH Trust said that although outbound cargoes to the US and EU gained momentum during the year, with more rapid growth in the fourth quarter, YICT’s throughput in 2016 declined as a result of a decrease in transshipment cargoes and empties, while HIT’s throughput suffered as a result of weaker Intra-Asia and transshipment cargoes.

Although revenue and other income for fell 6% to HKD11.91bn ($1.5bn), net profit was just 2% lower at HKD1.71bn compared to HKD1.74bn previously.

Looking ahead, HPH noted the trend towards mega-vessels and larger alliances and the resultant need to achieve economies of scale. It added that with it is well positioned to cater to these needs with its natural deep water channels and unparalleled mega-vessel handling capabilities.

HPH also pointed out that its signed co-management arrangement for 16 berths across Terminals 4,6, 7, 8 and 9 in Hong Kong's main container complex at Kwai Tsing is expected to deliver cost and operational synergies as a result of a more efficient use of the facilities and manpower resources.

In addition, the acquisition of a bigger stake in in Huizhou International Container Terminals (HICT) last year is also expected to provide additional handling capacity and generate operational synergies with YICT through sharing of resources and better utilization of port and related facilities in 2017, it added.

However, "given the uncertainty around global trade outlook, management remains cautious on the expected cargo volume for 2017 and will continue to focus on better cost control through improvements in productivity and efficiency," HPH concluded.

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