COSCO Shipping Ports, globally the fourth largest container terminal operator by throughput, has praised global trade recovery and alliances for a throughput rise in its interim results.
Chinese ports operator COSCO Shipping Ports announced its results for the six months up to June 30, 2017.
The operator’s global throughput increased in the half year-on-year by 11.8% to 41.8 million TEU, for which Chinese throughput accounted for 78.7%.
COSCO Shipping Ports noted stability in the global economy in the first half of 2017 which brought a noticeable recovery in the shipping and port industries.
Global trade volume is expected to show growth of 4.0% for 2017, which would be around 1.7% more than it grew in 2016, the IMF has said.
While COSCO Shipping Ports’ revenue remained static compared to the first half of 2016, rising 0.3% to US$275.8 million, profit to equity holders soared 123.7% to $384.7 million.
The results reflected the operator’s subscription to shares in Qingdao Port International Co., Ltd, (QPI) which provides container and bulk handling services, port ancillary services and financial services at Qingdao Port in China.
COSCO Shipping Ports became a major shareholder of Qingdao Port prior to the opening of its new automated terminal in May, 2017.
The operator will accordingly hold an 18.41% equity interest in QPI, and enjoys the development potential of the whole port.
Investing in the port not only lets COSCO Shipping Ports enhance efficiency by concentrating its resources in domestic ports, but also conforms to the Chinese government’s trend to restructure ports for both synergies and competition.
The operator however dropped its equity interests in Qingdao Qianwan Terminal at the same port. It has been an investor with hand in restructuring the terminal going back since at least 2003.
Its overseas terminals increased total throughput by 39.8% to around 8 million TEU, or 21.3% of the total, mainly due to inclusion of the throughput of Euromax Terminal Rotterdam BV to the group since October 1, 2016.
COSCO Shipping Ports’ acquisition of a 51% stake in Noatum Port Holdings in Spain, which is expected to complete in the second half of 2017, will help further extend its overseas reach.
This purchase should also amplify its terminal network in the Mediterranean and Europe, allowing it “to serve shipping alliances with better and extended services, and hub ports with sufficient servicing capability for mega-vessels”.
COSCO Shipping Ports in a press release said: “The rise in international trade, the official operation of the OCEAN Alliance and THE Alliance in April 2017, as well as the launch of mega-vessels, all increased calls at hub ports, and enabled the Group to achieve encouraging results in container terminals business.”