PSA’s flagship terminal in Singapore handled 29m teu in 2008, growing7% year-on-year, helping Singapore maintain its premier position as the world’s busiest container port for the fourth consecutive year, whilst PSA’s terminals outside Singapore recorded a throughput of 34.2m teu in the same period, 7.7% higher than that in 2007.
Group revenue increased 5.8% while net profit suffered a decline of 46% largely due to lower yields, higher operating costs, impairment provisions and lower divestment gains.
PSA’s balance sheet remains strong with a debt capital ratio of 53.9% at the end of 2008, an improvement over 2007.
“2008 was shaping up to be another record breaking year for the PSA Group with the first seven months bringing strong volume surge and record volumes handled. Unexpectedly, the Group experienced a sharp and abrupt business decline in the latter part of 2008 as the global financial crisis rapidly deteriorated into a major global slump and recession.
“Against the bleak and gloomy backdrop prevailing since then, PSA was fortunate to have had a strong first seven months that provided a cushion and enabled us to end up with reasonably credible financial results as a Group and PSA is fully prepared to brace itself for a protracted and painful business down cycle,” said Fock Siew Wah, Group Chairman, PSA International
According to Eddie Teh, Group CEO, PSA International, “2008 has been a year with a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde personality, with most of the Group’s terminals across the globe handling record volumes in the first few months of the year; however, by year-end, the financial crisis had reached epic proportions with most economies in recession. Shored up by the robust first half of the year, PSA handled a total of 63.2m teu worldwide, a new high for the Group.
“I see an extremely tough and increasingly challenging year in 2009, with more and more economies falling prey to the collapse of the financial systems, and global trade almost grinding to a halt. All eyes are on the rescue and stimulus efforts of Governments around the world to prevent further shrinkage to their economies, and to mitigate the severity of the global recession, the success of which will determine the extent of the contraction of global trade flows, and its long term impact on our industry,” he said.