CMPort remains cautious of trade war

CMPort Dr Bai Jingtao: “regional global trade volume is expected to increase." Credit: CMPort
Industry Database

China Merchants Port Holdings Company Limited’s (CMPort) 2018 net profit rose 20.2% to HK$7,245m due to the disposal of Shenzhen Chiwan Wharf Holdings Limited, but its recurrent net profit decreased and the company remain cautious in the face of US-China “trade frictions”.

Announcing the annual results of the company and its subsidiaries (the Group) for the period ended 31 December 2018, managing director Dr Bai Jingtao said that in 2019 “regional global trade volume is expected to increase”, however the company’s financial report noted that “trade frictions provoked by the United States against a number of countries and regions worldwide have affected the operating environment for corporates and confidence of financial market, threatening the development of global economy and trade”.

The fair value of financial assets at fair value through profit or loss, net of deferred tax, decreased approximately HK$1,008m. Chief financial officer Wen Ling explained that following the disposal of Shenzhen Chiwan, recurrent net profit decreased “mainly due to the decrease in share of profits from associates and joint ventures, and the increase in financial cost.”

In 2018, the Group’s ports handled a total container throughput of 109.06 million TEUs, up by 6.0% year-on-year. It is expected that the Group’s ports operation will sustain a steady growth in 2019, mainly driven by the rapid growth of new projects and overseas projects.

The company said that “growth will slow down in general, but there will be much room for growth in the trade and seaborne freight volume of emerging countries and regions in South East Asia, South Asia and East Africa, etc”.

Regarding the impact of the Hong Kong Seaport Alliance, deputy general manager Yan Gang stressed that the alliance would help to reduce the logistics costs of shipping companies berthing in Hong Kong as well as enhance Hong Kong's ports competitiveness.

By Rebecca Jeffrey

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