Terminal operator DP World performed strongly in 2014 increasing its total container throughput by 8.7%, which contributed to healthy revenue and profit growth.
Annual results figures released on Thursday revealed that consolidated throughput volume rose from 26.1m teu year-on-year to 28.3m teu, with most of the growth coming from the Middle East, Europe and Africa region.
Revenue increased by 11.3% to $3.4bn, driven by a 10.5% rise in containerised revenue while profit for the period attributable to the owners of the company grew by 11.7% to $675m.
The company expects to have 85m teu of gross global capacity by the end of 2015, equating to 15m teu more than in 2012, and then over 100m teu by 2020.
While DP World invested $807m across its portfolio last year, it plans to raise capital expenditure to between $1.4bn and $1.7bn this year.
Group chief executive, Mohammed Sharaf predicted volume growth “in line or slightly ahead of the market” in 2015 despite acknowledging macro-economic and geopolitical uncertainties.
He said: “2015 is expected to be a busy year for new projects as we add approximately 8m teu of capacity including new facilities at Yarimca (Turkey), Nhava Sheva (India) and Rotterdam (Netherlands), with further additions to capacity at Jebel Ali Terminal 3 (UAE).”
Highlighting that the Dubai-based company had “outperformed the industry”, DP World chairman, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, said: “We benefited from increased volumes across our global portfolio, including Embraport in Brazil and London Gateway in the UK which came on stream in 2013.”
He added that the $2.6bn acquisition of Economic Zone World (EZW), which includes the Jebel Ali Freezone (JAFZ) logistics park, would consolidate the firm’s position.
The company’s strongest performance last year came in the Middle East, Europe and Africa region with 10.4% growth in consolidated throughput to 21.0m teu, of which 15.2m teu came from the UAE.
Analysing last year’s gains, Sharaf added: “During 2014, we opened the first phase of our new semi-automated terminal at Jebel Ali, adding 2m teu of much needed new capacity in the UAE, which gives us the ability to handle more of the new generation of mega vessels.”
In the terminal operator’s smaller business segments, container volumes grew by 6.4% in Asia Pacific and the Indian subcontinent to 4.9m teu while it slipped by 0.4% to 2.5m teu in Australia and the Americas.