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AP News

DP World profits rise 1.5 percent in first half

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Dubai-based port operator DP World said Wednesday that profit rose 1.5 percent in the first half of the year as the slumping world economy slowed cargo traffic.

The results are far more modest than in previous years that have seen double-digit profit, but company officials said they were able to show growth by concentrating on fast-growing markets in Asia, Africa and elsewhere in the developing world.

DP World's chairman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem called it a "challenging period" in which economic troubles in the West have been somewhat offset by expanding cargo and port operations in Asia and other markets.

"DP World continues to focus on building or enhancing leading positions in markets which are faster growing or where infrastructure is insufficient to meet the needs of its customers," he said.

The world's third-biggest seaport operator said pre-tax profit rose to $310 million for the six-month period ending June 30, compared with $306 million for the same period last year. Revenue rose 1.8 percent to $1.529 billion for the period, compared with $1.502 billion for the first half of 2011.

Earlier this month, it reported a 7.5 percent rise in gross container volumes for the first half of 2012, led by traffic in the Asia-Pacific region. DP World officials have declined to comment on reports from Yemen that authorities canceled its contract at Aden port.

DP World is part of Dubai's troubled Dubai World conglomerate, but it was excluded from its parent's massive debt restructuring.

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