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Shanghai Port Q4 down 17.5%, misses 2008 goals

Posted on: April 4, 2009


Reuters – Friday, April 3

SHANGHAI, April 2 – China’s biggest port operator Shanghai International Port Co <600018.SS> on Thursday posted a 17.5 percent drop year-on-year in fourth-quarter net profit and forecast 2009 would be one of the most difficult years for international shipping.

With its core container business hit by the global financial crisis, the operator of the world’s busiest port missed its targets for 2008 and reported a 697 million yuan net profit in the fourth quarter, compared with 845 million a year earlier.

Overall 2008 net profit jumped 27 percent to 4.62 billion yuan on an 11-percent turnover increase to 18.14 billion.

It gave no specific targets for 2009.

Shanghai Port said it would focus on diversification and cutting costs to offset the slowing container business but said expansion opportunities still existed and the business’s long-term development trend had not changed.

“Our company has taken strong steps (to diversify businesses) including expanding bulk cargo freight,” it said.

Shanghai Port expanded significantly each year between 2003 and 2007 when China’s economy grew at double-digit pace before slowing to 9 percent in 2008.

In 2008, container throughput rose 7.1 percent year-on-year to 28.01 million twenty-foot equivalent units . Total cargo handling reached 369 million tonnes, up 4.6 percent from 2007, its 2008 annual report said.

Its target was for container traffic to rise to 30 million TEUs in 2008 and total cargo handling to reach 385 million tonnes.

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