Stock DP world Jebel ali port
Cargo throughput through its Dubai and overseas ports showed sizeable growth in first six months of 2021. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: The Dubai owned ports operator DP World recorded revenues of $4.94 billion in the first six months, a gain of 21.3 per cent, while net profit for the period grew by an even more impressive 75.4 per cent to $585 million.

"This significant growth once again demonstrates that we are in the right locations and a focus on origin and destination cargo will continue to deliver the right balance between growth and resilience," said Sultan Bin Sulayem, Chairman and CEO, with DP World's gains built around on a rebound in global trade and higher consumer spend.

"Our recently announced acquisitions of Imperial Logistics and syncreon bring value-add capabilities in high growth verticals and markets, which will allow us to offer a more compelling set of supply chain solutions. By leveraging our infrastructure across inland logistics, ports and terminals, economic zones and marine logistics network, DP World aims to lower inefficiencies and provide improved connectivity in fast growing trade lanes such as Asia, Middle East and Africa."

Its India operations were again a main driver of growth, while those in Australia and the UK also helped with the first-half total. Cash from operating activities continues to be "strong" at $1.490 billion compared to $1.12 billion in first-half 2020.

The cargo throughput was up a substantial 13.9 per cent for the reporting period. For the second-half- DP World projects growth rates to moderate.)

On track with 2021 capital expenditure
For the first-half, DP World incurred a capital expenditure of $687 million invested across its existing portfolio.

The company is retaining an earlier forecasts of $1.2 billion as the spend for full-year 2021, with investments planned in the UAE, Canada, Jeddah, Berbera in Somaliland, Sokhna in Egypt, Luanda (Angola), P&O Ferries, London Gateway and Callao (Peru).

New buys deliver

The latest numbers – which show DP World handled 38.59 million TEUs as gross throughput – show the company putting in more distance with the supply chain volatility of 2020, set off by the COVID-19 breakout. The first six month results also build on a fairly strong showing the Dubai entity delivered in the first quarter.

And as Bin Sulayem says, recent acquisitions in South Africa and North America keep adding heft to DP World’s top- and bottomline. Plus, there is its focus on keeping debt down. "We continue to make positive progress with our capital recycling programme - and this combined with the strong operational performance, leaves us well positioned to deliver on our 2022 combined (DP World and PFZW) leverage target of less than 4x net debt to adjusted EBITDA," he added. 

While we are mindful that the COVID-19 pandemic and geopolitical uncertainty could once-again disrupt the global economic recovery, we remain positive on the medium to long-term fundamentals of the industry and DP World's ability to continue to deliver sustainable returns

- Sultan Bin Sulayem of DP World