March 14, 2019 / 5:43 AM / 5 months ago

Dubai's DP World plays down trade tensions as annual profit jumps 10 percent

DUBAI (Reuters) - DP World, one of the world’s biggest port operators, said on Thursday its business could weather international trade tensions, after reporting a 10.2 percent rise in 2018 profit.

“Current year has started with trading in line with expectations and whilst the near-term outlook remains uncertain with the trade war and geopolitical headwinds, we expect our portfolio to remain resilient and see increased contributions from our recent acquisitions and investments,” Sultan bin Sulayem, DP World chairman, said in a statement.

The Dubai state controlled firm said it made a profit attributable to owners after separately disclosed items of $1.3 billion compared to $1.18 billion in 2017.

Revenue increased 19.8 percent to $5.6 billion and the board recommended increasing the dividend by 5 percent to $366 million, or 43 cents per share.

DP World said last month that container volumes across its global terminals had risen 2 percent to 71.4 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU).

It said on Thursday it invested $908 million across its portfolio in 2018, less than the firm’s $1.4 billion capital expenditure guidance for the year.

The company expects capex of $1.4 billion in 2019, mainly in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) where its flagship Jebel Ali Port is located, Ecuador, Somalia’s breakaway region of Somaliland, and Egypt.

Reporting By Stanley Carvalho, Additional writing by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman

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