Profits surge at DP World on Aussie sale

City A.M. Reporter
DP WORLD’S first-half profit grew four-fold as it booked a $436m (£267m) gain from the sale of its Australian operations last year, and the port operator said its emerging market focus would help it deliver on full-year goals.

The company, one of the more profitable assets of debt-laden Dubai World, said it was difficult to forecast global trade for the remaining part of the year despite being a historically stronger second-half performer.

“There is uncertainty around the outlook for the global economy making it more challenging to forecast how global trade will develop in the second half of the year,” chief executive Mohammed Sharaf said yesterday after the firm reported its first-half earnings.

DP World, which is currently building a new container port on the River Thames, is also open to other asset sales if good opportunities were available, the company said, adding that there was nothing in the pipeline for the time being.

“As and when similar opportunities present themselves we will look at them in the same way that we looked at Australia,” said Yuvraj Narayan, chief financial officer.

The port operator sold 75 per cent of its Australian port operations for $1.5bn last year to private equity firm Citi Infrastructure Investors (CII).

DP World’s first half profit, including the sale, was $705m compared with $177m in the same period in 2010, it said in a statement.

Excluding the gain from sale, profit stood at $246m, a 50 per cent increase compared with $164m for the same period last year. Gross volumes in the first half of the year climbed to 26.2m TEU, or twenty-foot equivalent container units.

First-half revenues increased three per cent to $1.5bn.