HUTCHISON PORTS MAKE NEAR-$900 MILLION PROFIT
Hong Kong-based Hutchison Port Holdings, the world’s largest port operator, made HK$6.8 billion ($871 million) in earnings before interest last year, a 17-percent increase over its result in 2001.
Hutchison Whampoa Ltd., the parent company of Hutchison Port Holdings, reported that its ports arm also increased its revenue by 33 percent in 2002, to HK$20.6 billion ($2.6 billion).
“The increase in turnover (revenue) reflects throughput growth and the additional activity from the 13 container terminals acquired in the latter part of 2001 and in early 2002,” Hutchison Whampoa said. Hutchison acquired the international container business of the Filipino port group ICTSI in 2001.
The container throughput of Hutchison’s port operations totaled 35.8 million TEUs in 2002, a 32-percent increase over 2001.
The group’s Hong Kong and Yantian deepwater port operations handled 21 percent more volume than in 2001 last year, and increased their earnings before interest by 11 percent, to an undisclosed amount.
The ports division of the Hong Kong group is continuing to expand, mainly by developing its existing operations. The group cited the addition of 1.3 million TEUs in handling capacity in Hong Kong, through the development of container terminal 9, and a new phase development in Yantian that will add 2 million TEUs in capacity at the Chinese port.
“After completing major acquisitions of 13 container terminals in 2001 and 2002, this (ports) division currently operates in five of the seven busiest container ports in the world,” said Li Ka-shing, chairman of the Hutchison Whampoa group.
He said that the ports division of the group would continue to seek investment opportunities on a selective basis, but it is currently focusing on improving and developing its existing businesses.
In early March, a joint venture between Hutchison, China Ocean Shipping Co. and Shanghai Investment Infrastructure Holdings Ltd. took over the operation of Wai Gao Qiao Terminal Phase 1 in the port of Shanghai.