China Merchants Port Holdings (CM Port) recorded a decrease in throughput at three of its container terminals, despite overall throughput having risen 6.0% year-on-year in 2018 and net profit up by 20.2%.
West Shenzhen suffered a 4.4% decrease to 1.06m teu due to the disposal of equity interest of Shenzhen Chiwan in June 2018 and the upgrade and renovation project in Haixing Port.
If the effect from Shenzhen Chiwan was taken off, the organic growth in West Shenzhen increased by 2.1% year-on-year.
CM Port’s Chu Kong River Trade terminal saw a decline in the double digits as throughput was 13.3% lower at 116,800 teu.
It was affected by China’s environmental protection policy which resulted in a decrease of import foreign garbage in several terminals in the Pearl River Delta.
Overseas, in Djibouti, throughput at CM Port’s terminal decreased by 7.5% to 85,900 teu due to the unstable political situation in Ethiopa and the depreciation of its currency.
Despite this, the group’s ports handled a total container throughput of 109.06m teu in 2018 and outperformed the global container throughput growth of 5.3%.
The group further refined and improved its overseas development strategy as it successfully acquired 90% equity interest in TCP, Brazil, in February 2018 and 50% equity interest in the Port of Newcastle, Australia, in June.
CM Ports’ overseas facilities contributed to 18.9% of its total container throughput in 2018 and have become an important driver for its growth.
The group’s ports in mainland China contributed 80.73m teu, an increase of 4.7%, and its operations in Hong Kong and Taiwan contributed 7.67m teu resulting in a 2.5% increase.
CM Port’s net profit totalled HK$7.245m (US$923,027) and revenue increased by 16.9% year-on-year as it totalled HK$10.160m (US$1.294m) at the end of 2018.
The group’s total dry bulk cargo volume was also affected by the disposal of equity in Shenzhen Chiwan, having suffered a slight loss of 1% to 502m tonnes.
Looking ahead to 2019, CM Port managing director Dr. Bai Jingtao said: “The regional global trade volume is expected to increase, which will hence support the import and export volume.
“The container throughput of CM Port is expected to maintain a growth rate which is similar to last year.”
However, the growth of the global economy is expected to slow down in general as it is affected by the adjustments of trade and investment policies due to “deglobalisation”, including the US-China trade frictions.
It will slow down in general but will offer much more room for growth in the trade and seaborne freight volume of emerging countries and regions in South East Asia, South Asia and East Africa among others.
The group has planned to uphold its strategic principle of “aiming at achieving the vision, while grasping instant opportunities, leveraging on technologies and embracing changes”.