When adjusted for changes across its global portfolio, like-for-like container volumes fell 2.1%.
Announcing the figures, the company stated that lower volumes had been experienced in the Asia Pacific and Indian Subcontinent region and the Europe, Middle East and Africa region. However, this was mitigated by a stronger performance in the Americas and Australia region, which increased 2.7%.
Its European and Middle East businesses continued to operate in what it called, “a challenging macro environment”, with the UAE operations handling 6.5m teu. This was described as “a relatively flat performance” compared to last year. In line with its overall portfolio, the UAE saw a stronger second quarter in 2013.
In the Asia Pacific and Indian Subcontinent region the company said that it continued to focus on handling a smaller number of higher margin containers to improve overall returns.
Group chief executive, Mohammed Sharaf, said: “We maintain expectations of like-for-like container throughput in line with 2012, with our portfolio positioned toward the faster growing emerging markets and stable origin and destination cargo”.
“Despite a softer first half when compared with the same period last year, we saw an encouraging uplift in containers handled during the second quarter.”
“This uplift, whilst positive, has occurred in challenging market conditions which we anticipate will continue into the second half. Accordingly, we remain focused on improving efficiencies, containing costs and handling higher margin containers to drive profitability,” he added.
Remaining confident about the long-term outlook and the company’s investment plans to meet the future capacity requirements, Chairman, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, said that the first half of 2013 saw important progress in the delivery of three major projects: the additional 1m teu capacity at the Jebel Ali Terminal, along with its developments in Santos (Brazil) and London Gateway (UK).
On the same day as releasing the results, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem played host to the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, who visited London Gateway following his visit earlier this year to the Jebel Ali port used a the model for the London project.
“London is set to regain its position as one of the world’s greatest ports and establish itself once again as a gateway to world trade. This gargantuan site will create tens of thousands of jobs in our capital and the South East, whilst helping to drive continued prosperity for the rest of the UK. DP World’s investment is a huge boost to the economy and a massive vote of confidence in London’s future,” said the Mayor.