By developing digital businesses and digitalising its technological solutions, Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) intends to create new growth opportunities moving forward. On the occasion of the financial press conference of the publicly listed company on 30 March 2017, Angela Titzrath, Chairwoman of the Executive Board, emphasises HHLA’s strengths as an innovative company with years of experience in the container business and a very successful Intermodal segment.
HHLA Container Terminal Burchardkai: At the port of Waltershof in Hamburg, berths are ready for the biggest container ships currently in operation - Image courtesy of HHLA / Thies Rätzke
HHLA has a solid foundation, says Angela Titzrath, who has headed the company since 1 January 2017. At the same time, she makes clear that its existing strengths do not automatically guarantee long-term security, given the persistently challenging environment for the company’s business. The Chairwoman of the Executive Board calls for a quick solution to the outstanding points, that arose following the decision by the Federal Administrative Court on the dredging of the river Elbe. “The earlier the work begins, the better,” she says.
In order to successfully and sustainably increase HHLA’s value, the intention is to establish digitalisation as a new business area within the company.
“We operate at an essential interface for the transport chain,” says Angela Titzrath. This not only enables HHLA to identify commercially successful digital initiatives, she continues, but also to put them into practice with partners for the benefit of the company. “HHLA is to be the engine of digital change in the Port of Hamburg,” says the Chairwoman of the Executive Board. Furthermore, she does not rule out investments by HHLA in terminals outside of Hamburg. “If Hamburg is the gateway to the world, then sometimes we have to pass through the gate to look around with eager eyes and see where other attractive opportunities may lie.”
STABLE PERFORMANCE EXPECTED FOR THE 2017 FINANCIAL YEAR
The Executive Board of HHLA is expecting a stable performance in 2017. In view of the partially volatile operating environment, an operating result (EBIT) in the range of € 130 million to € 160 million is forecast for the Group. For the listed Port Logistics subgroup an EBIT in the range of € 115 million to € 145 million is anticipated. Whereas roughly similar volumes to last year are expected for container handling, the positive trend in container transport should continue. At Group level this should mean that revenue remains at the same level as in the previous year.
SLIGHT INCREASE IN THROUGHPUT, SIGNIFICANT GROWTH IN TRANSPORT
In 2016, HHLA reported Group revenue of nearly € 1.2 billion. The Port Logistics subgroup generated revenue of approximately € 1.1 billion. Both the Group and the subgroup have thereby exceeded the previous year’s figure by 3.1 %. While the operating result (EBIT) for the Group went up by 4.8 % to € 164.0 million, the operating result of the Port Logistics subgroup increased by 4.7 % to € 147.6 million. The operating result (EBIT) was thereby slightly above the figure forecast last autumn.
Largely due to the two HHLA rail subsidiaries, the volume of containers transported rose by 6.8 % to 1.4 million standard containers (TEU). With a total of 6.7 million TEU, the Container segment handled 1.5 % more boxes compared to 2015.
DIVIDEND PROPOSAL FOR 2016
At the Annual General Meeting to be held on 21 June 2017, the Executive Board and Supervisory Board of HHLA will propose to distribute a stable dividend at the previous year’s level of € 0.59 per dividend-entitled Class A share for the Port Logistics subgroup.