DP World posts EBITDA growth of 17.7% in 2019

For the year ended December 31, 2019, DP World announced that on a reported basis revenue grew 36.1 percent and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) increased 17.7 percent to $3,306 million, delivering profit attributable to owners of the company, before separately disclosed items, of $1,328 million, up 4.6 percent and earnings per share (EPS) of 160 US cents.

Last month, the port operator announced delisting from the Nasdaq Dubai and returning to full private ownership. Upon completion of the deal, it will be 100 percent owned by the port’s parent company Port and Free Zone World. The development could be bad news for the stock exchange, for which DP World has been a major draw for investors trading the publicly-listed shares.

DP World group chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem commented, “DP World is pleased to report like-for-like earnings growth of 5.4 percent in 2019 and attributable earnings of $1,328 million. Adjusted EBITDA margins saw 43 percent on a reported basis and 49.6 percent on a like-for-like basis. This performance has been delivered in an uncertain trade environment, once again highlighting the resilience of our portfolio. We have continued to make progress on our strategy to deliver integrated supply chain solutions to cargo owners and have focused our efforts on building end-to-end capabilities for several verticals including the automotive, oil & gas and FMCG industries. We are pleased to state that cargo owners have responded positively, and we are now delivering efficient solutions to our customers, which bode well for the future.’

More recently, after much deliberation, DP World has taken the decision to announce its plans to de-list its equity from the stock exchange and return to private ownership. The strength and resilience that our business continually demonstrates throughout the cycles are due to the investment the group has made over the years in response to changes in our industry. Our ability to adapt and change has been the key to our success, and we must continue to evolve for continued success. We believe this long-term approach to business is not aligned with the short term thinking of equity markets and consequently, the next stage of DP World’s development will take place as a private company.

“Following the planned delisting, the leverage on the balance sheet will rise temporarily but we are confident of de-leveraging as we remain committed to a strong investment-grade rating in the medium term. The business continued to generate high levels of cash flow and combined with more disciplined investment and potential capital recycling; we have enough flexibility to maintain a strong balance sheet. Our immediate focus is to integrate our acquisitions and explore synergies with the objective of providing a range of smart end-to-end solutions that will improve the quality of our earnings and drive returns. The near-term outlook remains a cause for concern with global trade disputes, Covid-19 outbreak, and regional geopolitics, causing disruption to trade. Overall, we remain positive on the medium to long term outlook of the industry,” said Ahmed Bin Sulayem.

In December 2019, Unifeeder, a 100 percent subsidiary of DP World, has announced the acquisition of a 77 percent stake in Feedertech Group. Unifeeder now has the capability to offer feedering and regional short-sea connectivity in Northern Europe, Mediterranean, Northern Africa, Asia, and the Indian subcontinent.

Currently, DP World shares are trading at $15.70, compared to the previous close of $15.90 at NASDAQ Dubai.

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