DP World PLC handled 17.5 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units) across its global portfolio of container terminals in the first quarter of 2019, with gross container volumes declining by 0.6% year-on-year on a reported basis.
Gross like-for-like volumes declined by 0.7% in 1Q2019 due to the higher year-on-year comparables (1Q2018 like-for-like volumes grew 8.4%), and softer volumes in the UAE and Australia.
The UAE handled 3.5 million TEU in 1Q2019, down -8.8% year-on-year, due to the challenging macroenvironment and loss of lower-margin cargo. Growth in Americas, Africa and Indian Subcontinent was robust with strong growth in Callao (Peru), Sokhna (Egypt) and Mumbai (India).
At a consolidated level, the terminals handled 9.2 million TEU during the first quarter of 2019, a decline of 0.8% on a reported basis and down 3.0% year-on-year on a like-for-like basis. Reported consolidated volume in the Americas and Australia region was boosted by the consolidation of Australia from March of 2019.
DP World Group Chairman and CEO, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem commented: “As previously flagged, we have seen softer volumes in 1Q2019 due to a strong prior year performance and general caution in some markets given the current uncertainty in the macro-environment. In the UAE, the volume weakness is mainly due to loss of low-margin throughput, where our focus remains on profitable cargo and, while we expect the recent trends to continue into the second quarter, we do expect an improvement in the second half of the year.
On our wider portfolio, we have made good progress in strengthening our product which offers a greater role in the global supply chain as a solutions provider. We continue to focus on delivering operational excellence, managing costs and disciplined investment to remain the trade partner of choice."