HHLA reports strong financial start into 2021 despite container shortfalls


Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) has reported a strong start to its financial year, despite suffering falls in container throughput.

The firm achieved a year-on-year (YoY) increase of 26.4% in its group operating result (EBIT) to $55.92 million (€46.3 million) in Q1 2021. 

Container transport rose by 10.7% YoY in the first quarter, but container throughput fell significantly by 6.6% YoY in the first three months of the year.

HHLA said the decrease is due to the loss of a Far East service at Container Terminal Burchardkai in May 2020.

Cargo volumes for Far East services subsequently decreased, while volumes for Middle East services fell strongly.

There were also significant decreases in the UK shipping region and in feeder traffic in the Baltic region.

In the first three months of 2021, HHLA’s transport companies recorded a significant increase in volumes in the intermodal segment.

Container transport in intermodal increased by 10.7% YoY to 418,000 TEU.

Rail continued to benefit more than road from the recovery in freight volumes that had already begun in the 2H 2020. Compared with the previous year, rail transport increased by 12.1% to 336,000 TEU.

Angela Titzrath, Chairwoman of HHLA’s Executive Board, said, “HHLA remains commercially successful even in the face of the ongoing challenges associated with the coronavirus pandemic.

“Based on the course of business in the first three months of the year, we are optimistic that we will achieve our targets for the 2021 financial year.

“We continue to implement our strategy of strengthening the competitiveness and future viability of HHLA with determination and consistency.”

For the current 2021 financial year, HHLA still expects to see a moderate year-on-year increase for the Port Logistics subgroup, both in terms of container throughput and container transport.

In total, group revenue increased by 3.9% YoY to $420.3 million (€348.7 million).

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