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Strong first half for DP World

DP World has reported a 26% increase in profit to $341m in the first half of 2014, up from $295m in the same period last year.

The increased in profit comes on a 9.9% increase in revenue to $1.6bn and 8.5% increase in throughput to 13.8m teu.

Growth was driven by the Middle East, Europe and Africa where throughput rose 12% to 10.2m teu and revenues grew 12.8% to $1.1bn. Despite starting from a low base, the company said that its European performance was encouraging, whereas its UAE business was solid, owing to a robust UAE economy.

"While we have enjoyed a positive first half, we expect growth rates to moderate in the second half as the comparable period becomes more challenging," chief executive Mohammed Sharaf commented. "However, historically our second half throughput performance has been stronger than the first and we expect that trend to continue. The solid financial performance of the first six months is reassuring and we are confident of meeting full-year market expectations."

Investments across the DP World portfolio stood at $350m in the first half, with $318m of that going to developments in the Middle East, Europe and Africa including Jebel Ali in the UAE, DP World London Gateway and Yarimca in Turkey. Jebel Ali currently operates at 90% capacity and will add a further 2m teu capacity when terminal three phase one is opened in the fourth quarter. Yarimca is on schedule to open in the second half of 2015.

The group expects to have total capacity of 85m teu by 2015 and 100m teu of capacity by 2020.

Net debt at the terminal operator was $2.3bn, with gross debt topping $5.8bn and leverage at 1.6 times.

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