HPH Trust HI profit slides 9pc, box throughput down 8pc to 10.3m TEU


SINGAPORE-LISTED Hutchison Port Holdings Trust (HPH Trust) says the severe slowdown in global trade amid the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in its container throughput and profit decreasing in the first half of the year.

For the first six months of the year to the ending of June, throughout of HPH Trust ports overall was recorded at 10.28 million TEU, down 8 per cent year on year.

Throughput for Yantian International Container Terminals (YICT) and HICT was at 5.46 million TEU, down 12 per cent. The combined throughput of HIT, Cosco-HIT and ACT, or collectively HPHT Kwai Tsing, was at 4.82 million, down 3 per cent.

In a statement, HPHT stated: "The global trade was negatively impacted by the COVID-19. In the first half of 2020, outbound cargoes to the US and Europe declined by 17 per cent and 10 ten per cent respectively. Throughput drop for YICT in the first six months of 2020 was mainly attributed to the decrease in the US, Europe and empty cargoes.

"The decline in throughput for HPHT Kwai Tsing was mainly due to reduction in intra-Asia, the US and transshipment cargoes."

First half profit attributable to shareholders was recorded at HKD212.4 million US$27.4 million), down 9 per cent year on year.

HPHT said manufacturing in China was at a standstill as factories completely suspended production after Chinese New Year in January. Global supply chains and business activities have been disrupted, resulting in a slump in global cargo volume.

"HPHT, with HPHT Kwai Tsing being a major transshipment hub in the region, and YICT being the premier gateway to China for foreign trade, was inevitably affected," the company said.

However, recent developments on the Covid-19 situation has seen gradual improvements in the region, as manufacturing in China has mostly resumed and many overseas countries have loosened lockdown and border controls, reports UK's Seatrade Maritime News.

"It is expected that the negative impact of COVID-19 on our volume will gradually be reduced," HPHT said.

To mitigate the sharp downturn in demand caused by Covid-19, shipping lines have cut their capacity to maintain rates through an increase in blank sailings and service suspensions.

"During this difficult business environment, HPHT has been exploring different initiatives to improve performance. HPHT remains vigilant about the situation and will continue to focus on operational efficiency and cost management, as evidenced by the formation of Hong Kong Seaport Alliance, to increase the competitiveness of our ports," HPHT stated.

Source: Schednet

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