HHLA faces biggest challenge in 135 years


Looking back at a financially successful 2019, Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) says it is now facing a “challenge of a magnitude never seen before” in its 135-year history because of COVID-19.

Looking to its 2020 forecast the company said it is “not possible” to make any reliable forecasts under these conditions.

However, it is assumed that revenue and operating results (EBIT) for the Port Logistics subgroup will be strongly below previous year. This is primarily due to the possible at least temporarily sharp declines in container throughput and transport.

Owing to the current uncertainty, HHLA is focussing on its financial management and on securing its liquidity. To do this, HHLA will continually review and adjust its investments and cost development, the statement said.

In addition, HHLA is assuming it will be able to meet all of its payments payment obligations despite the burden caused by the coronavirus. This is in part due to the liquidity available on 31 December 2019 and the measures mentioned above, and based on feasible estimates for 2020 as a whole.

Angela Titzrath, Chairwoman of HHLA’s Executive Board, said Nevertheless, we are aware of our responsibility as a service provider for Germany as an industrialised nation.

“We will therefore act with prudence and caution and systematically implement the measures that are needed to guide HHLA through this challenging time. We stand by our long-term targets, irrespective of changes in the macroecono-mic environment.”

In 2019 the group revenue increased by 71% to €1.38 billion and at €22.1 million the groups operating results (EBIT) was up by 8.3%.

The successful integration of the Estonian terminal operator HHLA TK Estonia, which was acquired in 2018, and a slight growth at the Hamburg terminals, saw 2019 container throughput increased moderately.

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