DP World rides the world’s markets
After getting its cash flow and net debt back under control as a result of good performance and the selling of 75% of its Australian operations, DP World has “a solid platform” underfoot, but there remain challenges.
Underlying volumes were up 9% on 2010, gross cash flow from operations increased to US$1,159m and the company’s net debt reduced to US$3,583m, CEO Mohammed Sharaf said. Further, general utilisation levels remains high despite the new additions at Dakar in Senagal, Karachi in Pakistan and the Indian Vallarpadam terminal; Jebel Ali has been particularly crowded, needing the 1m teu to be added this year along with a 4m box terminal conversion promised by 2014.
However, as would be imagined, it's not an even picture and there are no promises: Europe has presented more of a difficult environment than that thrown up by the Arab Spring, and while this year has seen growth, Mr Sharaf points out: “Europe is still in turmoil. This has to be resolved before any real kind of assessment.”
But DP World has a continuing spread bet. Mr Sharaf points out, “This is the beauty of our portfolio, mature and developing markets, if one goes down, one goes up.”
He pointed out that across the Asia Pacific area, revenue increases outpaced volumes, due to good discipline and costs management which improved margins. Further, Mr Sharaf pointed to efficiencies and capacity investments that “are now reaching a mature phase” which should help to keep profits growing in a linear fashion.
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