DP World expects to report 'relatively stable' 2020 performance

FILE PHOTO: Terminal tractors line up to load containers into a cargo ship at DP World's fully automated Terminal 2 at Jebel Ali Port in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, December 27, 2018. REUTERS/ Hamad I Mohammed

DUBAI (Reuters) - DP World will report a “relatively stable performance” for 2020 after handling the same number of shipping container volumes as the previous year, the port operator’s chairman said on Monday.

The comments were in line with the Dubai state-owned company’s expectations last October, but cautioned the outlook for this year was uncertain due to the ongoing pandemic.

DP World, a major international port operator, handled 71.2 million shipping containers last year, the same amount it handled in 2019, the company said in a statement.

Volume at its flagship Jebel Ali port in Dubai contracted 4.4% to 13.5 million containers.

“Overall, the full year solid volume performance leaves us well placed to deliver a relatively stable financial performance in 2020,” said Chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem.

In 2019, DP World earned $1.19 billion in profit attributable to owners after separately disclosed items, compared with $1.30 billion in 2018.

“Looking ahead, while 2021 has started encouragingly, the outlook remains uncertain given the continued issues surrounding the pandemic, geopolitical uncertainty in some parts of the world and the ongoing trade war,” bin Sulayem said.

DP World, listed in 2007, returned to full state ownership last year.

Writing by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri