In the first quarter of 2020, changing conditions have had an impact on both the revenue and the earnings of the Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA).
In a statement, HHLA also said that a “significant decline in revenue and earnings” is expected for 2020 as a whole.
“Our expectations for the current financial year were marked by optimism; however, we are aware that external conditions for our business have been changing for some time due to a range of factors,” noted Angela Titzrath, Chairwoman of HHLA’s Executive Board.
“The effects of the storms in the spring and the rapid spread of the coronavirus pandemic have nevertheless left a mark on our performance figures. We have to adapt to a situation that we have never experienced in our company’s history and that we cannot influence.
“2020 will be one of the most challenging years in the history of HHLA. However, we will use our experience to find ways out of this crisis and continue to successfully develop HHLA,” she said.
The company recorded a moderate decrease in revenue and a significant fall in earnings which had a corresponding impact on profitability.
Container throughput saw a moderate decrease, while container transport declined significantly. This is attributable to stormy conditions in Northern Europe as well as the first signs of slowing economic activity in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The throughput volume at HHLA’s container terminals decreased by 3.7% overall to 1,796,000 TEU, this compared with 1,865,000 TEU in the same period in 2019.
At the three Hamburg container terminals, the throughput volume of 1,652,000 TEU was down 4.1 % on the same period last year, 1,722,000 TEU.
Ship delays resulting from the severe storms over Northern Europe and blank sailings resulting from the coronavirus pandemic led to a moderate decrease in cargo volumes from the Far East.
Handling volumes at the international container terminals in Odessa and Tallinn were on a par with the previous year at 144,000 TEU (previous year: 143,000 TEU).
On the other hand, the Real Estate segment once again achieved higher revenue and earnings. All in all, this led to a Group revenue of €335.7 million (- 3.4 %). The operating result (EBIT) decreased by €23.0 million, or 38.6 %, to €36.7 million.