DP World reports $420m after-tax profit


Dubai Ports World, the world's fourth-largest container port operator, said on Monday 2007 after-tax profit for continuing operations rose 52 per cent to $419.7 million in 2007 and trading in early 2008 was strong.

"Trading in the first two months of 2008 has been strong with throughput well ahead of the same period last year," Chairman Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem said in a statement.

"Whilst it is still early in the year, and growth across global markets remains uncertain, we believe we are well placed to deliver good results this year."

The company, listed on the Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX), said profit attributable to ordinary shareholders was $374.8 million. After-tax profit for continuing operations was $276.2 million in 2006.

Revenue grew 32 per cent in 2007 to $2.73 billion, the company said. Earnings per share were 2.26 US cents in 2007.

"Our volumes increased well ahead of the market during 2007, growing 18 per cent against an expected 12.2 per cent for the global market overall," DP World Chief Executive Mohammed Sharaf said in the statement.

DP World said the outlook for 2008 was strong.

"Expanding our existing portfolio remains key and we continue to see plenty of opportunities across all regions. Both existing port operations and new developments," it said.

"We are confident we will continue to win new opportunities during the course of this year at the same time as progressing our current strong pipeline of expansion and development projects," it said.

In a briefing for journalists, the company said it was looking at about 20 opportunities for expansion, without giving details. It said it had no immediate plans to tap markets, and had not seen an impact from recessionary trends in many world economies. (Reuters)