In spite of slowing volumes in the second half of 2008, Dubai Ports World is expected to post a 33 per cent increase in profit for the full year of operations, research released yesterday indicated.
Also, given the long-term nature of its borrowings, the world's third-largest ports operator is unlikely to see much refinancing pressure this year. "DP World remains vulnerable to the downturn in the global economy and the resulting slowdown in world trade.
After posting very strong growth in the first half of 2008 (revenues up 32 per cent), volumes slowed in the latter half of the year with some ports outside of the Middle East posting negative growth," Standard Chartered said in a credit report.
"For the full year of 2008, the company expects to deliver strong financial results, with profits of $675 million (Dh2.4 billion), up 33 per cent from 2007. However, they expect 2009 to be challenging for the industry and intend to focus on cost reduction and cash conservation," the bank said.
The global marine terminal operator last month said it handled more than 27.7 million TEU (20-foot equivalent container units) across its terminals in 2008, an increase of 15 per cent over the previous year.
Volume growth was six per cent, it said.
"We anticipate delivering strong 2008 results with profit before tax expected to be well ahead of 2007," DP World Chief Executive Mohammed Sharaf said. The company is expected to disclose full-year 2008 financial results on March 25.