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HHLA trims profit forecast on shrinking Hamburg container traffic

HHLA trims profit forecast on shrinking Hamburg container traffic

LONDON: Hamburg’s leading terminal operator, has downgraded its 2015 earnings forecast in response to declining traffic at Germany’s top container port.
The company now expects an operating profit “in the region of” 150 million euros ($168 million), down from a previous forecast that it would match the 169.3 million euros booked in 2014. HHLA, which is listed on the Frankfurt stock exchange, blamed the downgrade on the “persistently weak and continually declining” container volumes at its terminals in Hamburg and Odessa, Ukraine.
The previous forecast of an operating profit of between 125-135 million euros in the container division “can no longer be maintained,” the company said. However, HHLA stuck to its forecast of a “strong” increase in intermodal profit from 27.3 million euros in 2014.
HHLA’s container traffic declined in the first half to 3.4 million twenty-foot-equivalent units from 3.78 million TEUs a year ago, largely due to a slump in feeder traffic in the Baltic region as a 40 percent drop in Russian trade prompted some shipping lines to reroute their services. By contrast, intermodal container traffic to and from HHLA’s central