DP World Ltd. (DPW), the world’s third- biggest port operator, posted an 82 percent increase in full- year profit, helped by gains from the part-sale of its terminals in Australia and as container volumes rose.
Net income climbed to $683 million from $375 million a year earlier, the Dubai-based company said in statement to Nasdaq Dubai today. Profit before separately disclosed items rose 23 percent to $459 million, it said.
“We have benefited from the improvement in global container volumes whilst retaining a very clear focus on generating additional revenue, driving productivity and upholding a disciplined approach to cost management,” Chief Executive Officer Mohammed Sharaf said in the statement.
DP World last year completed the sale of a 75 percent stake in its Australian unit to Citi Infrastructure Investors and one of Citi Infrastructure’s investors for $1.5 billion. The company, which operates more than 60 terminals across six continents, said on March 26 that it will repay a $3 billion revolving credit facility six months ahead of schedule with its own cash and set up a $1 billion facility for investments.
“The most positive thing is that cargo volumes are up 11 percent in the first two months of the year, so they’ve had a strong 2011 and a good start to 2012,” Redwan Ahmed, a Dubai- based equity analyst at investment bank EFG-Hermes Holding SAE, said in a phone interview today. “That should be taken positively by the market.”
DP World will be investing in an additional 1 million twenty-foot equivalent units of capacity at its Jebel Ali port in Dubai this year and in a new 4 million TEU container terminal scheduled to become operational in 2014, it said. The London Gateway project in the U.K. will start operations in the fourth- quarter of 2013.
On opportunities in Iraq, DP World Chairman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem told a press conference in Dubai today: “We look at all ports. Of course, if there is an opportunity why not? They desperately need a port.”
The company’s board recommended a dividend of 24 cents a share for last year. “The board is confident of the company’s ability to continue to generate cash and support our future growth whilst maintaining a stable dividend payout,” it said.
The shares listed on Nasdaq Dubai have risen 20 percent this year and closed 0.2 percent higher at $11.6. The stock traded on the London Stock Exchange gained 14 percent during the same period and were at 720 pence today. The yield on DP World’s 6.25 percent sukuk due July 2017 has fallen 81 basis points this year to 5.11 percent today.
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