However, due to the financial and economic crisis, a marked downturn is expected for 2009. “No one is currently in a position to offer a reliable forecast for fiscal 2009,”said EUROGATE chairman Emanuel Schiffer. In the first quarter of the year, EUROGATE Group has already recorded significant reductions in container volumes at its locations that have already affected revenue and earnings forecasts.
Accordingly EUOROGATE has begun mitigation measures by initiating a programme to align costs and investments. Talks are underway with employee representatives on labour flexibility with the emphasis on job security with no enforced redundancies.
At EUROGATE’S Bremerhaven facility following agreed flexibilty measures, short-time working is shortly to be introduced, probably from May 2, 2009. In Hamburg, short-time work is currently not an issue and enforced layoffs are not planned.
Although only Euro238.4m of the planned Euro 470m investment for 2008 was spent, it has been decided that all non-essential investments will be postponed in 2009. However, the company will continue with the planned major investment projects such as the westward expansion of the EUROGATE Container Terminal Hamburg and construction of the new EUROGATE Container Terminal Wilhelmshaven.
Despite the downward trend in volumes, Cagliari International Container Terminal (CICT) belonging to the Contship Italia Group was able to increase its container handling volume in Q1 by 413.9% due to the acquisition of a new customer (the Grand Alliance and UASC consortium). In addition, the EUROGATE Tanger Container Terminal which began operations in September had, by the end of 2008, already handled 64,178 teu and succeeded in acquiring MOL as a new customer.