DP World's top-line numbers for 2023 was boosted by a 6.6 per cent increase, taking total to $18.25 billion. Image Credit: Bloomberg

Dubai: The Dubai ports and free zone company DP World pulled in $18.25 billion in 2023 revenues, a gain of 6.6 per cent, and which then delivered $1.51 billion in net profit. The tally is down 17.7 per cent from 2022, which the company says was mainly from higher finance costs.

“We are pleased to report stable results, with adjusted EBITDA increasing 1.9 per cent to $5.1 billion,” said Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Chairman and CEO. “This is particularly noteworthy considering the significant challenges posed by a deteriorating geopolitical landscape and challenging macro-economic conditions.

'Uncertain' outlook for industry

“Overall, we delivered a steady performance in 2023, and despite the uncertain start to 2024 – with the ongoing Red Sea crisis – our portfolio has continued to demonstrate resilience.

“The outlook remains uncertain – nevertheless we anticipate our portfolio will sustain robust performance.”

Drydocks World pulls its weight
In the 2023 DP World financials, the 6.6 per cent growth was supported by Drydocks World (+ $400 million) and the full-year consolidation gains from the Imperial Logistics buy (+ $900 million). The like for like growth was deriven in the main by the core ports and terminals as well as logistics business.

Margins and capex

For 2023, DP World’s EBITDA margin of 28 per cent is quite healthy. “Our strategic focus on high-margin cargo, end-to-end integrated supply chain solutions, and diligent cost optimization have played a pivotal role in securing these (2023) results,” said Bin Sulayem.

When it comes to debt, that was higher as leverage (net debt to adjusted EBITDA) on a pre-IFRS16 basis went up to 3.5x (from 2.7x in 2022). (On a post-IFRS16 basis, net leverage is at 3.8x).

“DP World’s financial policy remains unchanged – to manage the balance-sheet at below 4x net debt to EBITDA (pre-FRS16) and to retain a strong investment grade rating,” the company said in a statement.

The capex for 2023 came to $2.1 billion, from 2022’s $1.71 billion. These were invested across the DP World portfolio.

This year, capex is pegged at $2 billion, which will go towards requirements at its Jebel Ali operations, as well as the London Gateway, Inland Logistics in India, Dakar, East Java (Indonesia), Callao in Peru, and Jeddah.

“Strategic investments in high-growth sectors enable us to offer value-added solutions, and we remain committed to enhancing our logistics platform," said Bin Sulayem.