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HHLA benefits from strong increase in container transport by rail

Despite the continued influence of the coronavirus pandemic and a resulting imbalance in global transport flows, Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) recorded positive business development in the first half-year of 2021. The Group operating result (EBIT) increased by 63.2 percent year-on-year to € 90.5 million.

The positive business development was partially attributable to high storage fees as a result of continued shipping delays at the Port of Hamburg as well as a strong increase in container transport volumes. While container transport recorded strong growth of 16.0 percent, container throughput increased slightly by 0.7 percent compared with the same period last year. The Real Estate subgroup achieved slight growth in revenue and significant increase in earnings. In total, Group revenue increased by 12.8 percent to € 709.2 million.

Port Logistics subgroup: performance January to June 2021
The listed Port Logistics subgroup recorded a strong 13.2 percent increase in revenue to € 695.1 million in the first six months (previous year: € 614.2 million). The operating result (EBIT) increased by 70.4 percent to € 83.8 million as compared with the previous year, which was strongly affected by the pandemic (previous year: € 49.1 million). The EBIT margin improved by 4.0 percentage points to 12.0 percent.

In the Container segment, the throughput volume at HHLA’s container terminals increased slightly by 0.7 percent to 3,369 thousand standard containers (TEU) (previous year: 3,345 thousand TEU). At the three Hamburg container terminals, the throughput volume of 3,073 thousand TEU was up 0.5 percent on the same period last year (previous year: 3,058 thousand TEU). This was due in particular to the moderate increase in cargo volumes for Far East services, which offset pandemic-related volume shortfalls in the previous year and the loss of a Far East service in May 2020.

Revenue increased year-on-year in the first half of 2021 by 11.4 percent to € 404.9 million (previous year: € 363.4 million). The slight increase in volume of 0.7 percent was strongly exceeded by the increase in revenue quality. Average revenue per container handled at the quayside rose by 10.6 percent year-on-year. This was due to an advantageous modal split with a high proportion of hinterland volumes and a temporary increase in storage fees as a result of ongoing ship delays. In addition to the pandemic-related delays in ship arrivals, the blocking of the Suez Canal in March also led to longer dwell times that led to an increase in storage revenue. Against this backdrop, the operating result (EBIT) increased by 72.1 percent to € 63.4 million (previous year: € 36.8 million). The EBIT margin increased by 5.5 percentage points to the more normal level of 15.6 percent.

The Half-Year Financial Report is available here.

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