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DP World earnings grow 27 pc in H1-2019

By Wam

Global trade enabler DP World PLC today announced strong financial results for the six months to 30 June 2019 with reported adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) and attributable earnings growth of 21.9 percent and 26.8 percent respectively.

DP World Group Chairman and CEO, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem credited the company’s strategy of developing innovative new products and services and prudent management for DP World’s impressive half-year results. Bin Sulayem added that DP World’s excellent performance against the backdrop of challenging global economic conditions is a testament to the company’s resilience, sound growth strategy and the diversification of its global investment portfolio across energy, maritime and sustainable mobility amongst others.

"DP World is pleased to report like-for-like earnings growth of 22 percent in the first half of 2019 and attributable earnings of $753 million. This strong financial performance has been delivered in an uncertain trade environment, once again highlighting the strength of our portfolio."

"Our half-year financial results have been in line with our expectations," Bin Sulayem added. He highlighted that DP World continues to be guided by deep market understanding, innovation and operational excellence across 45 countries worldwide. Despite uncertainty from the trade war and challenging regional geopolitical realities, DP World has been able to deliver and excel a broadly impressive performance in the first half of 2019.

"We have continued to make progress on our strategy to become a trade enabler and solutions provider as we look to participate across a wider part of the supply chain. We have invested significantly across our Ports, Logistics & Maritime Services businesses. The aim is to connect directly with customers to offer logistics solutions and remove inefficiencies in the supply chain to accelerate trade. We are seeing positive signs of progress in our new businesses that give us encouragement for the future.

"Our balance sheet remains strong, and we continue to generate high levels of cash flow, which gives us the ability to invest in the future growth of our current portfolio. Going forward, we aim to integrate our new acquisitions and deliver synergies with the objective of providing smart end-to-end solutions, which will improve the quality of our earnings and drive returns.

"Whilst the near-term trade outlook remains uncertain with global trade disputes and regional geopolitics causing uncertainty to the container market, the strong financial performance of the first six months also leaves us well placed to deliver full-year results slightly ahead of market expectations."

According to the company's statement, the global trade enabler succeeded in ensuing strong cash generation and a robust balance sheet, with cash from operating activities remaining strong at $1,046 million in H1-2019.

Leverage (Net debt to annualised adjusted EBITDA) increased to 3.0 times (Pre-IFRS16) from 2.8 times at FY2018. On a post-IFRS16 basis, net leverage stands at 3.7 times.

The statement cited the credit rating of BBB+ by Fitch with a stable outlook on the back of the resilient and diversified nature of the portfolio.

During the first half of the year, the company raised $1.3bn through the issuance of long-term bonds at record low rates.

Investments continued across the portfolio. They include, inter alia, Ports and terminals investments which included two new assets in Chile, Fraser Surrey Docks8 (Canada) and consolidation of assets in Australia.

Logistics & Maritime investment included acquisition of pan-European logistics platform of P&O Ferries and marine logistics operator, Topaz Marine & Energy8.

Global trade continued to grow as well, but the outlook is uncertain, according to the company's statement.

The container trade grew by low single digits in the first half of 2019, but concerns around the trade war continue to weigh on the outlook.

"We continue to focus on delivering operational excellence and maintaining our disciplined approach to investment to ensure we remain the trade partner of choice," added the statement.