COSCO Shipping Ports’ volumes up but profits slip

COSCO Shipping Ports’ volumes up but profits slip
CSP's terminal in Piraeus was a standout performer

COSCO Shipping Ports (CSP) has handled a total of 92.2m teu in the first three quarters of 2019, representing a 5.3% rise in volumes but this increase has not delivered improved profits for the Chinese state-owned operator.

Revenue was up 3.2% to US$772.6m in the first three quarters of the year but net profit has fallen by 10% to US$219.6m.

Greater China accounted for 78% of the company’s volumes in the third quarter of 2019 with Qingdao Port International a standout performer, handling 5.4m teu, a rise of 8.6%.

Meanwhile the repositioning of several ports by Liaoning Port Group upon its consolidation has resulted in the diversion of domestic trade from Dalian Container Terminal, resulting in a 16% drop in throughput to 2.3m teu.

Throughput in overseas regions increased by 12.9% to 7.2m teu, bolstered by a 15% rise in volumes at Piraeus Container Terminal to 1.3m teu, aided by increased calls from the Ocean Alliance and THE Alliance.

With two new berths added in January 2019 in response to increasing regional demand, throughput of COSCO-PSA Terminal Private Limited in Singapore surged by 60% to 1.3m teu.

A statement from the operator noted: “Looking forward to the fourth quarter this year, despite the fact that challenges do remain in the global macro-economy, as one of the world’s largest ports operators, CSP will continue to leverage on the synergies with the Ocean Alliance and our parent company, seize opportunities to cooperate with major shipping companies and ports companies to keep boosting throughput.”

The company is searching for “opportunities to acquire overseas terminals”, it added, to provide better services to meet the needs of the shipping alliances.

CSP is also aiming to ramp up profitability and optimise asset return while deploying resources prudently, optimising the cost structure and enhancing operational efficiency and risk management.

It is looking to dispose of its indirect interests in Taicang International Container Terminal and Jiangsu Yangtze Pertrochemical having entered agreements to sell its stakes in Nanjing Port Longtan Container Co, Yangzhou Yuanyang International Ports Co and Zhangjiagang Win Hanverky Container Terminal Co.

“The disposal of interest in various port assets is our response to industrial development and changes in the region, with an aim to implement strategic plan,” it added.

CSP will also try to optimise the terminal portfolio in Yangtze Delta, strengthen the development of Nantong Tonghai Terminal and CSP Wuhan Company Limited and continue to develop a hub port in the Yangtze Delta region.