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Piraeus container terminal star performer for Cosco Shipping Ports

Piraeus container terminal has been a star performer for leading ports operator, Cosco Shipping Ports (CSP) as the Chinese group’s global operation lifted revenue but saw profit slide in the first six months of 2019.

The group lifted revenue in the first half to $517.9m up 4.5% y-o-y. But gross profit at $153.4m, was down 2.6% year-on-year and profit attributable to the company’s equity holders at $147.8m was down 12.5% year-on-year. Total throughput was 59.76m teu was up, 5.4% year-on-year and organic growth of total throughput was up 4.4%.

Cosco said: “Profit from terminal companies in which the group has controlling stakes was mainly attributable to Piraeus Container Terminal in Greece, the CSP Spain Group, Guangzhou South China Oceangate Container Terminal Company Ltd and Xiamen Ocean Gate Container Terminal Co., Ltd.”

For the first half of 2019, throughput at the Piraeus terminal increased 23.8% y-o-y though a new higher lease agreement was in operation. Profit recorded in Piraeus for January to June 2019 was $15.24m up from $13.64m, in the corresponding 2018 period. Excluding impact of the new lease standard, profit recorded by Piraeus increased to $16.787m from $13.64m, or 23.1% year-on-year.Piraeus saw a 14.8% increase year-on-year in its throughput revenue, to reach $127.95m from $111.45m in the 2018 first half

“Piraeus terminal recorded an increase in its throughput while higher labour costs and increased depreciation charges for the period due to the completion of construction of the western part of Pier 3 saw costs go up for the first half of 2019 to $97.33m, some 14.1% higher compared with the 2018 half,” said Cosco.

However, supported by increased calls by the Ocean Alliance and The Alliance, throughput of Piraeus increased 23.8% to 2.57m teu from 2.08m teu.

Read more: Cosco plans new pier to expand Piraeus capacity to over 10m teu

Looking ahead, Cosco Shipping said that despite the fact challenges do remain in the second half of 2019 with various uncertainties, global economic growth is supported to an extent by the market expectation that the low interest rate policy will be sustained. The group will continue to leverage on the synergies with the Ocean Alliance and its parent company, “seize opportunities to cooperate with major shipping companies and ports companies to keep boosting throughput”.

“Given the uncertainties of macro-economy, it is difficult to forecast the outlook of global throughput growth, but Cosco Shipping Ports is cautiously optimistic for the whole year,” concluded the port operator.