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HPH 9-month profit up 10pc, despite 18pc profit decline in last quarter


HONG KONG owned but Singapore listed Hutchison Port Holdings Trust (HPH) posted a January through September year-on-year 10 per cent net profit increase to HK$1.32 billion (US$170.1 million) drawn on revenues of HK$8.94 billion, which declined seven per cent.

But the company's net profit in the quarter ending September 30 declined 18 per cent to HK$430.2 million, drawn on revenues of HK$32.65 billion, a decline of seven per cent.

Year to date throughput of HPH Trust's deep-water ports was seven per cent below last year. Shenzhen's Yantian International Container Terminal's (YICT) throughput was four per cent below last year's and combined throughput of Hong Kong's HIT, COSCO-HIT and ACT terminal fell 11 per cent year on year. 

"Outbound cargoes to US and EU increased in the first nine months of 2016. While US trade rebounded in the third quarter when compared to the second quarter, EU trade recovery slowed down in the third quarter of 2016," the company said. 

YICT reported a throughput drop in the first nine months of 2016 due to decreased empties and transshipments. HIT's throughput decrease was mainly the result of weaker intra-Asia trade and transshipment cargoes 

"Outbound cargoes to US showed a mild rebound in the third quarter of 2016 after a weak performance in the second quarter. US economy is regaining its growth momentum and economic activity has increased at a faster pace," said a company statement.

But growth in outbound cargo to Europe slowed in the third quarter of 2016. "Weak consumer sentiment, high unemployment and the knock-on effects from Brexit continue to affect its economic recovery," it said.

HPH Trust said its performance was also affected by structural changes in the container shipping industry. 

"The service rationalisation of various global shipping alliances has negatively impacted the transshipment volume of both HIT and YICT over the past few quarters," said the HPH statement.

"Shipping lines continue to deploy mega vessels to promote economies of scale, reform their carrier alliances - such as Ocean Alliance (China COSCO, CMA CGM, Evergreen and OOCL) and THE Alliance (Hapag-Lloyd, Kline, MOL, NYK, and Yang Ming), to improve efficiency, control costs and expand the coverage of vessel-sharing schemes to strengthen competitiveness. 

"HPH Trust's natural deep-water channels and unparalleled mega-vessel handling capabilities position it to be the preferred port of call for mega-vessels and HPH Trust is expected to benefit from these developments," said the company.

Source: Schednet

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