The duisport Group generated a total operating performance of EUR 217 million during the 2015 business year. The company's performance, including revenues from strategic participations, increased 10% compared to the previous year (2014: EUR 198 million), reaching a new record. In the case of EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, and depreciation and amortization), the result from 2014 (35 million euros) was surpassed by 6% (37 million euros). The result before taxes on earnings also reached a new record at 16 million euros (2014: 14 million euros).
“In view of the the stagnating logistics markets in Europe, we can certainly be very satisfied with the results that have been achieved. Despite a difficult market environment in the logistics and packing sector in terms of price, we have been able to increase the total return of the group by implementing a large number of process improvements. Our integrated service portfolio thus remains the basis for stable earnings developments," emphasizes Erich Staake, Chief Executive Officer of Duisburger Hafen AG, at this year's annual results press conference.
Of the three business segments of the duisport Group - Infra- and Suprastructure, Logistic Services and Packaging Logistics - it was the Logistic Services division in particular that made a very positive contribution in this respect in 2015. While Infra- and Suprastructure increased revenues to 48 million euros (2014: 47 million euros), revenues in Logistics Services grew by 25% to 76 million euros (2014: 60 million euros). The increased revenues in this business segment are mainly due to project logistics, the volume growth in the container and bulk segment, and the consulting and project business.
Packaging Logistics generated revenues of 69 million euros in 2015 - a decrease of around 3% compared to the previous year (2014: 72 million euros). This decline was primarily due to the spin-off of IPS Integrated Project Services GmbH into the Logistic Services business segment.
The duisport Group made investments of approximately 20 million euros during the 2015 financial year (2014: 17 million euros), with a continued focus on expanding handling and terminal capacities. These activities included, among others, the construction of a second portal crane at logport III and the expansion of the DIT Terminal at logport I.
The duisport Group's workforce has also grown. After the number of employees surpassed the 1,000 mark for the first time in 2014, employment levels again increased by 5%, reaching a new record of 1,050 employees in 2015.
"Qualified and committed employees are a key factor for ensuring sustained business growth. Therefore we are increasing our focus on recruiting skilled employees for the different divisions, as well as implementing targeted promotion programs for young talent at our eight training levels,” says Staake.
Record total handling volume at public ports
Total goods handling for all Duisburg ports was 129 million tonnes last year (2014: 131 million tonnes). The slight decline over the previous year is the result of handling developments at the private commercial ports due to economic factors.
The total handling volume at the ports of the duisport Group grew by 6% to 69 million tonnes (2014: 65 million tonnes), reaching a new record. Handling volumes for rail and ship reached 35 million tonnes in 2015 - after 33 million tonnes in 2014. While ship handling stayed at the previous year’s volume of 16 million tonnes (2014: 16 million tons), rail handling grew by 12% to 19 million tonnes (2014: 17 million tonnes).
The result in combined transportation also improved. The handling volume for containers rose by 6 percent to 3.6 million TEU (2014: 3.4 million TEU), thereby reaching yet another all-time high.
“This was the first time since the 2008/09 financial crisis that we experienced a slight decline in sea container transshipments in the Hamburg - Le Havre Range. In view of this trend, I am quite pleased with the developments of the past year. We were evidently successful in gaining additional market share,” says Staake.
The segments mineral oils and chemicals were the main drivers in 2015, in addition to combined transportation. Growth in these areas was able to make up for the steel business, which was weak due to market conditions.
Marketing of land parcels in the Rhine/Ruhr region
At 120,000 m², the marketing performance during the past financial year was lower than in the previous year (2014: 232,000 m²). This is due to the limited availability of large logistics areas within Duisburg. Against this background, the duisport Group expanded its marketing activities in the Rhine-Ruhr region, which already resulted in a number of initial marketing successes in the 2016 financial year.
The new central warehouse for Benteler Distribution was officially opened in October 2015. This central warehouse (35,000 m²) offers storage capacity for up to 27,000 tonnes of steel tubes. With a height of 25 meters and 10,000 cassettes, this new high-rack facility is the largest in Europe.
Nanjing High Accurate Drive Equipment Manufacturing Group Co., Ltd. (NGC) was the first Chinese company to settle in the Port of Duisburg in 2015. NGC is one of the global players for transmission and drive technology, and will be servicing the European market from its European headquarters in Duisburg.
Last year, duisport also formed the joint venture dev.log GmbH together with Evonik Industries AG. The objective of the jointly controlled company is to develop the 50 hectares of land available at Evonik's Lülsdorf location (south of Cologne), and to market these premises with the aim of attracting production and logistics companies. With this joint venture, duisport increases its current commitment to the development of logistics areas in the Ruhr region.
"The future outlook for this region lies in the efficient networking of industry and logistics. With the development of additional commercial and logistics areas in the Rhine/Ruhr region, we will continue to offer our customers an excellent connection to the multimodal Duisburg hub in the coming years," says Staake.
Expansion of international commitment
The duisport Group continued to expand its international engagements in 2015, with a focus on the fast-growing Turkish market and the train connections between Duisburg and China.
In November 2015, duisport and the leading Turkish logistics company Arkas Holding S.A. formed a joint venture for the development of multimodal logistics areas and intermodal services in Turkey. One of the first projects focuses on the development and operation of a more than 200,000 square meter multimodal logistics area near Istanbul. Plans include the construction of a bimodal terminal and the marketing of the premises to production and logistics companies.
Working with different rail operators, the transcontinental railway connections to China were further expanded last year. Currently, trains runs daily between Duisburg and various destinations in China, including Yiwu, Shenyang, Wuhan, Peking and Chongqing. The purpose of these measures is to underline and further develop Duisburg's position as the leading European rail hub for the trans-European movement of goods.
“The expansion of transcontinental train connections is steadily gaining in importance. As the starting and destination point of the new Silk Road, Duisburg has been receiving attention from the global players along these corridors. Together with our partners, we want to make an active contribution to expanding the direct connections to China via the different routes, strengthening the function of Duisburg as the leading logistics hub for Central Europe,” says Staake.
Port of Duisburg remains job engine for the region
Duisburger Hafen AG has commissioned extensive studies to investigate the labor market and economic effects of the logistics location Duisburg at regular intervals since the year 2000. After the studies conducted in 2006 and 2011, the well-known Berlin market research institute Regionomica GmbH was again commissioned to conduct the study in 2015.
The results, which were presented in December 2015, highlight the continued positive economic growth of the port of Duisburg. Accordingly, since 2011 the number of employees whose workplace is directly and indirectly dependent on the port increased by around 12% to 45,300 (2011: 40,600). The entire added value that can be traced back to the port grew by 4% to EUR 2.8 billion (2011: 2.67 billion euros). Thus the Port of Duisburg remains a supporting pillar in the region’s economic infrastructure and labor market.
“These numbers impressively confirm that we are able to generate growth in the logistics industry in Duisburg and the surrounding region,” says Erich Staake. “They also offer proof of the quality of this location, now one of the leading logistics regions in Europe.”
Slower trends expected for 2016
duisport is not expecting any significant improvement in the global trade situation for the year 2016. In contrast to previous years, the large Asian sea ports are reporting only very minimal growth rates, and significant decreases in some cases. Current handling trends in the Hamburg-Le Havre Range also do not give rise to optimism.
“At present, we can say that the idea of steadily increasing movements of goods due to globalization and the associated double-digit growth rates in transport logistics appear to be a thing of the past. At this time, there is no real driver for global economic growth. Therefore we are not expecting growth impulses for the current year, which means that developments in 2016 will likely be very subdued,” concludes Staake.
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