DP World cautions outlook uncertain after record first-half profit

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/File Photo

DUBAI, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Dubai-owned ports giant DP World reported on Thursday a record $721 million first-half profit boosted by elevated shipping rates but said it expected its profit, revenue and container growth rates to moderate in the rest of the year.

The company, one of the world's biggest port operators, said profit climbed 51.8%, up from $475 million in the same period a year ago.

The shipping industry has seen record profits recently due to tight shipping supply caused by a surge in consumer demand and pandemic-linked supply chain disruptions. read more

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

DP World, which also owns logistics parks, handled 39.48 million shipping containers in the first half, a year-on-year growth of 2.3%.

But the ports giant, which saw first-half revenue rise 60.4% to $7.9 billion, said it expected its growth rates to moderate in the second half amid an uncertain near-term outlook.

Chairman and Chief Executive Sultan Ahmed bin Ahmed cited a "more challenging macro and geopolitical environment" but said DP World was "well placed" to deliver improved full-year results following the strong year so far.

"Nevertheless, we remain positive on the medium to long-term fundamentals of the industry and DP World's ability to continue to deliver sustainable returns," he said in a statement.

Danish shipping firm Maersk this month raised its guidance for a second time, expecting supply chain issues that have boosted freight rates would last longer than expected.

DP World's caution comes amid concerns the global economy may be heading towards recession, in part due to high inflation and the fallout from Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The IMF said last month those risks were materialising as it cut its global growth forecast for this year to 3.2%.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com
Writing by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Edmund Blair

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.