|Hutchison Port Holdings profit reaches US$1.7 billion|
|Thursday, 16 April 2009 10:31|
Hong Kong's Hutchison Whampoa's port unit, Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH), posted a three percent pre-tax profit increase in 2008 to HK$13.2 billion (US$1.7 billion), the smallest rise in eight years.
Falling container volumes were blamed on shrinking consumer demand in the current global economic downturn. Volumes in the first two months of the year fell nine percent, Hutchison Managing Director Canning Fok said.Hong Kong International Terminals is owned by Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH)
Mr Fok added that traffic is showing some improvement this year. "March was better than February, and we are forecasting that April and May will show further improvement," he said.
However, not all partake in Mr Fok’s optimism.
"We still can't see the end of the plunge," Benjamin Lo, an analyst at Nomura International Hong Kong was quoted as saying by Bloomberg. "There are so many empty boxes out there, it's sure to lead to pressure for lower handling charges."
Singamas Container Holdings, the world's second-largest maker of sea-cargo boxes, said ten percent of the world's containers are empty.
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