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PSA recorded 'Jekkyl and Hyde' 2008, predicts further horrors ahead

PSA recorded 'Jekkyl and Hyde' 2008, predicts further horrors ahead

Singapore: PSA Group saw volumes grew 7.3% in 2008 from a year earlier to reach 63.2m teu at its 28 port projects in 16 countries worldwide. Group ceo Eddie Teh dubbed it a 'Dr Jekkyl and Mr Hyde' year where strong growth up to July  2008 was rapidly eroded by the collapse in demand on major trade lanes in the  last quarter of the year.   

PSA's flagship terminal in Singapore handled 29.0m teu in 2008, growing  7.0% year-on-year, helping Singapore maintain its premier position as the world's busiest container port for the fourth consecutive year, whilst PSA's terminals outside Singapore recorded a throughput of 34.2m teu in the same period, 7.7% higher than that in 2007. Overall the 63.2m teu total was a new Group high.

Group revenue increased 5.8% while net profit suffered a decline of 46% largely  due to lower yields, higher operating costs, impairment provisions and lower divestment gains. But the Group points out that its balance sheet remains strong with a debt capital ratio of 53.9% at the end  of 2008, an improvement over 2007.  

"2008 has been a year with a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde personality, with most of the  Group's terminals across the globe handling record volumes in the first few months of the year," said Teh. "However, by year-end, the financial crisis had reached epic proportions with  most economies in recession."

"I see an extremely tough and increasingly challenging year in 2009," he added ominously, "with more and more  economies falling prey to the collapse of the financial systems, and global trade almost grinding to a halt."  [27/03/09]